HC Deb 04 April 1870 vol 200 cc1176-276

(Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Chichester Fortescue, Mr. John Bright.)

COMMITTEE. [Progress 1st April.]

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 3 (Compensation in absence of custom).


Sir, the Amendment to which I am now going to call the attention of the Committee is the one I originally gave notice of, and which then bore reference only to a secondary portion of the clause—secondary in its position in the clause, and secondary, also, in its general character. In so doing I considered I was acting in the spirit of that engagement which I voluntarily made with the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister at the commencement of the Session; I said then, and I was empowered to say it by those Friends whom I had an opportunity of consulting, that his Land Bill would receive from this side of the House a fair and impartial consideration; and, for myself, I ventured to say something more, and to assure him that assuming, as I did with the utmost confidence, that it would be a just and equitable measure, and would aim only at accomplishing that which was necessary, and not that which was fanciful and theoretical, it would receive from me a cordial support. When the Bill was introduced, although on a subject of such great importance, and necessarily of so complicated a nature, and including so many provisions and proposing so many arrangements as the present Bill, it could hardly be supposed that I should be able to give to every line a complete adhesion, still, I took the opportunity of consulting those Friends who honour me with their confidence, and I found they agreed with me in opinion that in dealing with a measure of this character it became us to take a large and liberal view of the proposals of the Minister; and though it might be our duty to attempt modifications of those principles whenever we thought modifications necessary, and to object to the assertion of any principles which we thought dangerous, still, we believed that, on the whole, we should be able to offer a general and sincere support to the Minister in bringing this measure to a successful issue. Under these cir- cumstances I offered no opposition to the second reading; but I cannot conceal my vexation at the present moment that, after having made that engagement at the commencement of the Session, and after the Bill has been treated by both sides of the House with an absence of party feeling, I find myself unexpectedly leading an opposition to the measure of the right hon. Gentleman opposite on an essential question. And yet I am only going to propose what I believed to be an insignificant Amendment when I gave notice of it, and which only applied to a secondary and less important portion of the clause now under consideration. How has this happened? We may always be deceived in the judgment we form of our own conduct; but I believe I am not rash in thinking that the fault is not mine. The truth is, that since we have gone into Committee, there has, unfortunately, been pursued on the part of the Government, though we have only passed one section, a course which has given a new character to their proposal, and which calls on us most seriously to consider the position we now find ourselves in with respect to the general character of the measure.

Let me recall the attention of the Committee to the precise change which has occurred, and which has led us into the new position in which we are placed. I am not going to enter into any discussion of the merits or demerits of the Ulster tenant-right. The Government thought fit to legalize the customs of Ulster, and I expressed my opinion, on the second reading of the Bill, that the proceeding was unnecessary, impolitic, and inexpedient. It seemed to me that the Ulster customs were strong enough to assert for themselves all that was good and beneficial in their character, and that they might be left to be administered by all the parties to them, and that there were general objections to legalizing customs of this kind. The Ministry, however, maintained their policy; and though I objected to it, I did not divide the House against it, for it appeared to me to involve no principle which should prevent me from supporting the measure, and from assisting the Ministry to carry their Bill. During the discussions the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues, in an able and eloquent manner, combated various other proposals that were made to them, and declared that it was im- possible to extend the Ulster customs, as some of their supporters desired, to other parts of Ireland; and that resolution was received with warm approbation on both sides. Well, what has happened with regard to the second clause? A new clause is to be brought in. What is that new clause? It is a clause which virtually extends the Ulster custom to the other parts of Ireland, exactly opposed to the whole policy which, for a week, we expended our energies in supporting; and, indeed, I fear it will lead to a great disturbance of arrangements and inconvenience to both landlords and tenants in other Provinces of Ireland. Now, Sir, when we are urged to lose no time in passing this measure, and when, in the absence of gentlemen of the long robe who are at the Assizes—in the absence of some of the most valuable Members on both sides who must be at quarter sessions—in the necessary absence in the morning of men of intelligence and experience who from their business engagements I cannot be present; when we are urged to fix Morning Sittings for the discussion of this measure, and Divisions are taken on that subject—Divisions which in my memory were never taken under similar circumstances before—I cannot but remember the week that was lost in resisting the proposal for the extension of the Ulster custom to the rest of Ireland. This is a great change which has been made in the measure since the second reading.

Well, then, Sir, when this Bill was first brought forward, when its elaborate and complicated scheme was unfolded, when the House and country were made aware of the frequent invasions which it proposed upon the privileges of proprietors, and in some degree, no doubt, upon the strict rights of property itself, there was one proposition which was much descanted on, which was enforced with great ability, and on which many arguments which recommended the Bill to both Houses rested, and that was this—that it would be in the power of proprietors to defend and exempt themselves from all these new, certainly vexatious, and, in many cases, perilous invasions by conceding a lease to the tenant. And that proposition, I am bound to say, was most favourably received by this side of the House, and I have reason, from what I observed, to believe it was not unpopular with the majority on the side opposite. That proposition was received with great favour, and much opposition to the general details was obviated by its proposal. There was one considerable objection raised even to that compensatory proposal in the Bill. It was thought that a lease of thirty-one years expressed a term too long for the circumstances and the occasion; and hon. Gentlemen especially connected with Scotland said they did not understand why a lease of thirty-one years should be required, while in their country, with a lease of twenty-one years, or even of nineteen years, intelligent men possessing large capital did not hesitate with that security to expend that capital even lavishly on the cultivation of the soil and the improvement of property. There was a proposition about to be made to reduce that term to twenty-one years, but, in unison with the feeling we had of supporting the Government as much as we possibly could, and avoiding opposition on all points in which principles of primary importance were not involved, I requested my Friends not to insist on that point, but to accept the proposal of the Government. What happened on this proposal of the Government, which practically reconciled many to the principal provisions of the Bill? Without notice, silently, and availing himself merely of the mechanical regulations of the House, the Chief Secretary for Ireland withdrew that clause before it was even discussed, and, so we find again, on an essential point the measure, which was to be carried, if possible, unanimously, and which certainly the vast majority on both sides were anxious to support, was changed in this important respect.

Now, Sir, I come to Clause 3, which is virtually the 2nd clause of the Bill; and let me remind the House in popular language, without troubling them to read the Bill, what is the object of the 3rd clause as it appears still in the unaltered Bill. The 3rd clause, in its primary and most important object, was to secure compensation to the tenant for his improvements—a subject on which, I will venture to say, both sides of the House were unanimous: the marrow of all Land Bills—the result on which investigation and discussion have enabled the country to arrive at a mature conclusion, and which, if secured, would, in my opinion, do all that in justice is required. That it should be done completely, that it should be done liberally, that it should be done in a manner by which the spirit of our legislation could not be evaded, but that the tenant should be secured in the full usufruct of all his improvements—that, I say, was the marrow of all Land Bills; and if only that were effected we should effect all that justice required. But, Sir, this clause, while it contained this primary subject, which might fairly and popularly be described as a clause which secured compensation to the tenant for his improvements, also went on to say that compensation should be given for the loss sustained by the tenant on quitting his holding. Now, Sir, these were ambiguous words. They were words evidently which did not refer to compensation for improvements, and it appeared to me necessary that these words should receive some definite meaning. Now, I am perfectly aware that in dealing with this question of the tenure of land in Ireland, after all the discussions I that there have been, after all the attempts at legislation that have been made, and looking at the circumstances of the country generally in reference to this question, it is impossible for us to deal with this in a pedantical spirit; and so far as provisions which refer to existing engagements are concerned my opinion is that the House cannot be too liberal. I agree, therefore, that Her Majesty's Government were justified in their views, if they entertained such views, that on this subject of compensation for improvements, scrutinizing the circumstances connected with the tenure of land in Ireland, it was wise and well that if we did err we should err on the right side; that if we took steps to compensate the tenant on quitting his holding, that compensation should be of a complete character; and I was therefore perfectly prepared, irrespective of securing compensation for improvements, to take the ambiguous words of the Government and give them this interpretation—that instead of compensation on quitting his holding it should be— In respect of unexhausted improvements made by him or any predecessor in title, and of interruption in the completion of any course of husbandry suited to his holding. So that, besides having all improvements taken into account, besides receiving compensation for his improvements—the marrow of all Land Bills—the tenant should also, on quitting his holding, be secured the fair usufruct of any husbandry or skill in the tillage of the land which he had not yet received. Now, Sir, I consider that to have been a compensation beyond what mere justice required; but I think it was one which, under the circumstances of the case, a wise policy would suggest and sanction. Well, Sir, under these circumstances, I supposed I should have had to move that Amendment to-day, when, to my great surprise, Her Majesty's Government at the last moment proposed a change in this clause—a change which, so far as I can trace its consequences, after much consideration, gives altogether a new character to this measure; a novel character which, in my opinion, it will be wise for Gentlemen on both sides of the House well to deliberate upon before they sanction. The Committee will observe that this 3rd clause was chiefly and particularly a clause to secure compensation to the tenant for improvements; and it was followed by a sliding scale of the various amounts to which a tenant under such circumstances, quitting his holding and not having enjoyed the usufruct of his improvements, should be entitled. What is now the proposal of the Government? The Government have entirely discarded from this clause all parts of it which refer to compensation for tenant's improvements—the chief subject and marrow of all Land Bills; but they have not altered the sliding scale of compensation, or, rather, they have altered it, and made it more severe. They have extended and established it. This 3rd clause now figures in such a form that my Amendment, which was an Amendment to its secondary and least significant portion—namely, to that degree of compensation which should be given to a tenant for any loss incurred by quitting his holding—now becomes the principal portion of the clause; it becomes, in fact, the clause itself, and it takes this form, that compensation is to be given to any tenant at the termination of his lease, on the assumption that the termination of the occupancy is a grievance for which the tenant ought to be compensated. This clause, then, at present, is a clause which does not conceal that, in the opinion of the framers of this Bill, occupation involves a right of property. It is not brought in under any disguise of securing to the tenant compensation for improvements, or of establishing any liberal construction under which the tenant would not only obtain compensation for the improvements which he had made, but the usufruct of all his exertions would be secured to him; it positively states that the tenant who is disturbed in his holding is to be compensated for the loss which he may incur by that circumstance, according to a tariff of a much severer and much larger kind than the original tariff which was devised, no doubt, after the deliberation of many Cabinets, and with the advice of the wisest men in the most responsible positions, for the purpose of carrying out that which was the object of all Land Bills—namely, compensation to the tenant for improvements.

I will briefly touch upon the consequences of such an assertion, opposed as it is to all the fundamental principles of our legislation for the country generally. A fashion has grown up lately, in these Irish Bills, of considering the effect of any provisions with reference merely to Ireland, taking what is called an exceptional view of legislation. But I would impress upon the Committee that we must also consider what may be the results of such legislation upon England and Scotland. But before I touch on this subject I would venture to ask the Committee to consider what maybe the practical effect even upon Ireland, of legislation such as this. The Committee are well aware, no doubt, of the character of this Bill, as amended by the proposition of the Government; they are in possession of the new sliding scale; and they are aware that we are considering a clauses limited to this simple assertion—that a tenant who is disturbed in his holding, and a tenant who quits his holding, is to be compensated for the loss which he may thereby incur; and in a possible instance, we know that that compensation may amount to as much as seven years' rental of the land which he holds. The Committee are also aware that land in Ireland is north probably twenty years' purchase, and consequently they are aware that upon the termination of his tenancy, and as a matter of right, under this Bill, any tenant, for the loss of a lease the term of which has expired, may come upon his landlord for the value of at least a third of his freehold. That is the state of affairs. Now, let us see how this will probably work as regards the Irish tenants—the very persons for whom we are asked to violate the fundamental principles of our legislation—the very persons for whom we are asked to take the step precipitately, and not after the deliberations of successive Cabinets—for the deliberations of successive Cabinets had laid quite a different proposition before us; let us, I say, examine how such a proposal will work for the advantage of this class of the Irish people themselves. When the House permitted me, on a former occasion, to make some observations on the principles of this Bill, I ventured to affirm that my principal objection to the 3rd clause—into the details of which it was not at the time convenient to enter—was that, among the many other serious questions which it involved, it destroyed all moral relations between the landlord and tenant. The more I have heard, and the more I have reflected on this clause, the more fully I am convinced that such will be its result. And if that be the result, how will the clause operate? The landlord will no longer acknowledge that this new-fangled tenant—who has what the lawyers would call a contingent remainder to the third of his estate—has any moral claim upon his consideration. He therefore says—"We will both of us stand upon our rights." I do not want to see them both standing upon their rights. I think the tenant and the landlord should mutually assist each other; but I am showing you what, in my opinion, will be the consequences of your legislation, though that legislation is proposed with an entirely different object. The landlord will say—"We must both stand upon our rights. This new-fangled law, which has given you a contingent remainder to the third of my freehold, has at least given me this security, that if you do not pay me your rent I may get rid of you." We have heard a great deal of evictions under different forms and circumstances; but this Bill provides what I should describe as a species of natural eviction. When a tenant does not pay his rent the landlord may get rid of him without his claiming a third of his freehold as compensation. Everyone must feel that, if only in self-defence, the landlord will avail himself of that position, the only position of strength left him. He will wait till the tenant does not pay his rent—and, as far as I have heard, the class of tenants for whom we are legislating in this exceptional way have the habit of falling into arrear with their rent—the landlord will avail himself of the power which is placed in his hands, and then what will occur? You will have farms consolidated, and the very farmers for whom you are taking this perilous step will be swept from the surface of the soil. Either the landlord will entirely assert his authority, or the tenant, finding himself in this position, will revert to those rural ethics with the consequences of which we are all familiar. There will be a new grievance—the payment of rent; and the non-payment of rent will become a principle, asserted by the same rural logic, the startling consequences of which have filled the mind of the country with apprehension and horror almost every day. The argument of the Irish tenant—belonging to the very class that you think you are now setting up by this violation of the fundamental law of the country—will be to this effect—"I have lost my holding because I did not pay my rent; can anything be more flagrantly unjust than that a man should be deprived of his contingent right to a third of the freehold because he does not pay his rent?" That is a natural view, which may lead to a much more successful agitation than any we have yet heard of. The question is unanswerable; we may think it is abstractedly unreasonable, but it is the necessary result of our legislation. And what will be the consequence? Why, that payment of rent will become a grievance, and you will find yourselves in exactly the same position in which you are now placed. There will be great complaints of the consolidation of farms, great complaints of vexatious and tyrannical evictions, and, on the other side, the most violent means by which the supposed rights of the occupiers to property in the soil may be vindicated will be resorted to. And so far from the improvement of the country, so far from terminating all these misunderstandings and heart burnings, which we seem now so anxious upon both sides of the House to bring to a close, you will have the same controversies still raging, only with increased acerbity, and under circumstances and conditions which inevitably must lead to increased bitterness and increased perils to society. I want to ask the Committee to consider what is the inducement for them to encourage the Government in this new line which they are taking. No one can pretend that the number of evictions in Ireland is a sufficient cause for our assenting to the passing of a law which violates, as I venture to say, the cardinal principles of our legislation, and strikes at the basis upon which society rests. If the evictions were as great in number and as aggravated in character as they were sometimes popularly believed to be—but, as it has turned out, most falsely believed to be—that even would not justify our taking such a step as is now proposed. Such a state of things might entail upon us the necessity of devising means which should terminate a general course pernicious and to be deprecated; but it would not, I repeat, justify Parliament in violating the cardinal principles on which, in the past, its legislative action has been based. But we know very well—for the Table of this House is covered with Returns conveying the information, that the number of evictions, so far from justifying such exceptional legislation as is proposed, really would not justify any legislation at all. It was a popular idea three or four years ago that the Irish exodus was occasioned by the evictions of tenants from their holdings; but we have now authentic evidence in our possession that the emigration—which I, for one, do not regard with the favour it meets at the hands of many persons—was not caused by the evictions at all, those reasons being altogether insufficient to produce such enormous and portentous results. But, Sir, I venture to hope I may induce the Committee to feel that, for the sake of the Irish tenants themselves, we ought not to take the course which we are now recommended to take. The clause now before the Committee acknowledges that an occupier has a permanent interest in the soil which he cultivates, and provides that a tenant, when his term of holding ceases, shall come upon society and the Legislature and say—"The termination of my lease is acknowledged by your legislation to be an injury for which I have a right to receive compensation." I think I have said enough to show the Committee that to legislate in that spirit would not be to benefit the Irish themselves. And, Sir, I think further, that the view I am expressing is held by a majority of the Irish farmers, who expect and require something very different from anything contained in the Bill proposed by Her Majesty's Government, either in the first or second instance. Judging by the tenour of the resolutions passed in their Farmers' Clubs, they want something very different from any proposition which Parliament has ever entertained, or from anything which I believe Parliament will ever grant; something which is so utterly unreasonable that it cannot be granted with any regard for the principles by which society is held together.

But, Sir, if the extraordinary change proposed by the Government will bring no advantage to Ireland, I think we ought to consider what may be the injury and disadvantages which such a course may bring upon other parts of the United Kingdom. The clause, as it stands, applies an abstract principle to the particular case of Ireland; but if it be so applied, I cannot see on what grounds we may flatter ourselves we can limit its application to the landlords and the tenants of Ireland. There being no occasion now to go into details with regard to the matter, I will state, what all will admit, that the landlords and tenants of Ireland have allowed their relations to grow so complicated as to require some regulation and adjustment; but there is a great difference between attempting to legislate in a large and liberal spirit in order to such an end, and proposing a principle which is entirely counter to all the principles of legislation we have hitherto accepted and acted upon. Let those who are able to do so answer the simple question, why the Scotch or the English tenant should not, and might not, demand the application of the same principle to themselves that is proposed to be adopted in favour of the Irish tenant? I want to know, for my own protection, what the argument is in support of the proposition of Her Majesty's Government? so that when the application is attempted to be made to England and to Scotland I may be prepared with an answer. It is no answer at all to tell us that the circumstances of Ireland and England, or of Ireland and Scotland, are different. Why, Sir, we know they are; we have had that ad nauseam: but never until this occasion has the degree of difference reached such a point that we have been asked to violate the first and cardinal principles of our legislation and society, principles which have existed for centuries undisturbed and unchallenged in England. The circumstances of the English and Irish tenants differ, no doubt, and that justifies compensation being paid to the Irish tenant for his improvements—a privilege which neither the English nor the Scotch tenant possesses; but that is no reason for passing a provision which entirely changes the character of the measure as originally proposed, and absolutely concedes to the occupier of the soil a proprietary interest in that soil—a provision which, as the clause is drawn, and so far as I am able to form an opinion, would enable a tenant whose lease was for a less term than thirty-one years to go to the person whose property he had enjoyed at an immense advantage, and say—"For a quarter of a century at a light rent I have enjoyed the use of your soil; my lease is now up, and the Legislature has decided that I have thereby incurred a great injury, so now be prepared to give me the compensation which the generous Legislature of the United Kingdom has conferred upon me." And, Sir, I want to know, also, how, if we embark upon this new legislation, we can limit it even to land? I know that there is a party in this country, and I believe there are some hon. Gentlemen in the House, who disapprove altogether the territorial system of this country. I do not share those opinions, nor shall I, so long as I find, which is not denied, that our territorial settlement has secured to us the most skilful agriculture in Europe, or in the world, and has been—as I think impartial inquirers cannot deny—very favourable to the maintenance of public liberty. I have no fear of appeals to disturb that settlement on broad principles, such as are contained in the Notice of Motion placed on the Table of the House by the hon. Member for Dundalk (Mr. Callan), who says, in effect, to the English landlords—"You must be prepared to give up your estates; for this Land Bill is only preliminary to inquiry into the tenure of land in England." That was frank on the part of the hon. Member, and, so long as the existing territorial system is assailed on such broad grounds as these, it may, I think, be triumphantly vindicated; but the danger is that the system may be sapped by such legislation as is now proposed. If hon. Members assent to what the Government is now recommending, they may, perhaps, be furnishing precedents to be hereafter turned against themselves. In these days of progress nothing is more natural than that such precedents should be turned against the territorial classes; and it will only be when hon. Members find their legitimate privileges as landowners surreptitiously and subtly attacked, that they will discover their position to have been weakened by their own acts as Members of this House. I wish hon. Members would fairly consider this question, and I will make another attempt, before sitting down, to bring the Committee back to its original tone of feeling respecting the measure as first brought forward—a measure which was, as we know, the result of many Cabinet Councils, and of the most anxious deliberations of able men acting under the gravest responsibility. They gave us their matured plan, and we agreed, without party feeling, to assist them in carding it, waiving objections on many points, such as the Ulster custom, on which we differed from the Government. We, having regard to the responsibility of Ministers, concurred in giving a liberal interpretation to their conduct; and, such being the case, I ask why, at this moment, a vast majority on both sides of the House having so warmly and generously welcomed the Government Bill as the result of grave deliberation, we should suddenly be called upon to make a sweeping alteration, and to consider what is practically a new measure, framed on principles totally different from those which appeared in the original Bill? The Government, it may be said, do this to please some few supporters below the Gangway; but I can hardly conceive that to be possible. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has more than two-thirds of the House of Commons ready to support his original scheme with no very important alteration, and it looks like levity to disregard the warm support he has received in order to gain the voices of some few, I will not say groundlings, but to please some half-dozen hon. Gentlemen who sit on the opposite side of the House. I cannot believe, then, that this is the cause of the change. Is it due to the desire to obtain popularity for the Bill in Ireland, where it is not popular, and to raise some enthusiasm there in its behalf? Now, it is impossible that the Bill can be popular in Ireland. No Land Bill which could be brought forward in the British House of Commons would be likely to be popular in that country. The Bill before the House may be a wise, necessary, and temperate measure; but the resolutions which have been passed with respect to it by the Irish tenant-farmers clearly show that no attempt of this kind has any chance; of ingratiating itself with them. I think I have given some reasons to the Committee why this pernicious proviso should not pass, even in the interest of the tenantry of Ireland themselves. To them it can only bring disaster and discontent; it will create those very differences and disorders which we have so long deprecated, and under which the country has so long suffered. The Committee is called upon to sanction principles which—I wish to use no terms of exaggeration—I most sincerely believe are calculated to be productive, even in our time, of the most serious consequences. All I ask the Government to do under these circumstances is to return to their original scheme. The Bill as it was introduced to our notice was accepted by the House of Commons, even though they were dissatisfied with many of its provisions. Ought not that success to content the Government? Would not a wise and prudent Minister be satisfied with this triumph in dealing with a subject so difficult? I make this final appeal to him, and I earnestly hope the Committee will not sanction the change? which has been made, and that they will accept the Amendment which I now, Sir, place in your hands.

Amendment proposed, In page 3, line 4, after the word "compensation." to insert the words "in respect of unexhausted improvements made by him or any predecessor in title, and of interruption in the completion of any course of husbandry suited to his holding."—(Mr. Disraeli.)


Sir, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) commenced his speech by what I am afraid I must call a declaration of war. He seems to have said to himself— A way to Heaven, respective lenity, And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now! The right hon. Gentleman evidently labours under the impression that he is one of the most ill-used men in the world. It is clear he believes that he has fully mastered the details of this Bill as it was-originally laid before the House; that he gave to its provisions a confiding and generous support; and that it is only owing to the gross misconduct of the Government in altering its clauses and thus remodelling it that he feels called upon, with much reluctance, and with a great measure of pain to himself, to change the position with respect to it which he at first took up. Such a spectacle is worthy of commiseration if it were only a little better founded on the real facts of the ease. But, as it is, I have striven to resist the tender emotion of the right hon. Gentleman, and I trust the Committee also will endeavour to do so, until I have laid before them a view of the question which may, perhaps, seem to them to disentitle the right hon. Gentleman to some of that sympathy to which he has advanced so large a claim. In the first place, it will be in the recollection of the Committee that the right hon. Gentleman declined to pledge himself to anything in this Bill. The confidence which we have so much abused, and the hopes which we have excited, were entirely limited to a few words written at the top of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman expressed his readiness to allow us to take the second reading, being of opinion that it was expedient that in some respect or other the law with regard to occupation in Ireland should be altered; but he carefully guarded himself against any other admission. Whoever else, therefore, has a right to complain of our conduct, in introducing alterations into the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman has none. The right hon. Gentleman told us that he had great struggles with regard to Ulster tenant-right, but as that was in the Bill, he had got over those difficulties. He says his confidence in us is shaken in consequence of our conduct with reference to the 2nd clause. But the case with regard to that clause is simply this—The Committee were pretty well agreed that, in lieu of Clause 2 as it originally stood, a clause should be brought up at the end of the Bill applying the same principles as were applied to the Ulster customs to customs identical with them in other parts of Ireland. That together with some alteration in the 6th clause dealing with the case of an outgoing tenant, was considered by the Committee a sufficient substitution for the 2nd clause. Yet this is made a grievance of by the right hon. Gentleman, and is one of the causes of that wonderful change of mind which he appears to have undergone. But there is another equally dreadful, and that is, that, having undertaken to concede a lease to the tenant for thirty-one years, we have recalled the concession. But what is the fact of the matter? The original clause was not to concede a lease, but to enable the landlord to tender a lease to the tenant, and if the tenant did not accept the lease then he was to be excluded from the benefit of the provisions of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman, in the excess of his virtuous indignation, contrived entirely to invert and transpose the facts of the case. The clause was withdrawn mainly for two reasons. One was, that it seemed to bear hardly on the tenant who might have a good right to compensation and did not wish to take a lease; and the other was that it was found impossible to put in the power of the court the preparation of such a lease as that without raising the question which they were most desirous to keep out of the cognizance of the court, as far as they could—the question of an arbitrary valuation of rent. Instead of this clause we have substituted one by which, if the landlord and the tenant can agree to a thirty-one years' lease, it shall be a bar to the claim for compensation; so that we have relieved the tenant from the compulsion to which he would have been subjected under the old clause, and saved the landlord from that from which we recoil—the notion of submitting to the courts what rent a holding should pay. This, then, is another dreadful injury which it appears the right hon. Gentleman has sustained. But there is yet another, and that is the one with which we are chiefly concerned this evening. He says that whereas, in the 3rd clause, as it stood originally, we gave compensation to the tenant in regard of the loss sustained by him in quitting his holding, and whereas that was mixed up with and placed under the same scale with improvements, we have now separated the two, using instead of the words "compensation re- gard being had to" the words "compensation for" loss sustained by him in quitting his holding. In striking out the words "regard being had to," and putting "for" instead of them, lies, therefore, it would seem, that dreadful mischief which now arouses the wrath of the right hon. Gentleman, and turns the milk of his nature into gall. It appears to have had a similar effect on the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball), who contended, the other night that some dreadful difference existed between those two clauses, which I confess I am unable to discover. The whole grievance amounts to this—that whereas we at first put two things under the scale of compensation, "improvements" and occupancy," we now only put one and remove the other from it. That is the whole grievance of the right hon. Gentleman, and that grievance is a little diminished, by the fact that my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government gave notice on the second reading that it was his intention to make this separation. I think it is hardly necessary for me to say any more on the grievances which have sent Achilles back to his tent. I would now observe that it has been stated—and, I believe, not contradicted—that the Amendments which the right hon. Gentleman has put on the Paper, shortly after those of which my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland gave notice, were agreed to at a meeting of the right hon. Gentleman's supporters prior to my right hon. Friend's Amendments being laid on the Table. [Mr. DISRAELI: That is my case.] But another grievance of the right hon. Gentleman's is that, as he alleges, these Amendments were placed on the Table surreptitiously and secretly. It seems to be made a ground of complaint against my right hon. Friend that he did not give notice of his Amendments, and that he did not give notice of his Notice. Now, the right hon. Gentleman's speech is one thing and his Motion is another; and, as far as I could gather from his speech, to which I listened most attentively, the one has nothing to do with the other. His speech consisted really in supporting these propositions; but, in addition to being hostile to the legalization of Ulster tenant-right, he is also hostile to any concession to the tenants beyond compensation for improvements. These are the two statements I gather from the right hon. Gentleman's speech. We are not now dealing with the Amendments to the clause, and therefore I shall not mention them further than to take notice of that declaration of the right hon. Gentleman, which throws rather a curious light upon the grievance that he says he has sustained in having been deceived into giving countenance to this Bill, which did nothing but legalize the Ulster custom of giving compensation to tenants who are disturbed in their holdings. I have my choice which I shall answer—the speech of the right hon. Gentleman or his Amendments, because the speech has nothing to do with the Amendments, and the Amendments have nothing to do with the speech; but as it is upon the Amendments, and not upon the speech that we shall have to vote, I will, with the permission of the House, offer a few remarks upon them, because they raise a question that, I think, is worthy of some consideration, for the right hon. Gentleman, who ought to know best the value of his own Amendments, has not said a single word or made a single comment about them. The propositions laid down by the right hon. Gentleman are two—the first is, that the improvements ought to be included under the scale which limits the value that is to be given; the second is, that compensation for loss on quitting a holding should be limited to compensation for improvements, and for being interrupted in the course of husbandry. Those were the two propositions of the right hon. Gentleman, and I was anxious to know what could be said in favour of them. Nothing has been said in their favour, and therefore I will take the liberty of making a few observations against them. As to his proposition with regard to his scale the right hon. Gentleman has in his favour the authority of the Government, for it was our original proposition; but when we came to work it out we found difficulties that we had not altogether anticipated. That is apparent on the face of the Bill. We found that we could not put all improvements under one class, and we were, therefore, compelled them to divide them into two classes, putting buildings and reclamation of land in one class, and all other improvements in the other. But that was a very awkward proceeding, and the further we went the more difficulty we found, because it would happen that a man who had made very great improvements, and suffered very great injury on quitting his holding, would be prevented by the scale from getting compensation for the injury he sustained in quitting that holding, for the very reason that he had made those great improvements, and vicê versâ, which it appeared to us might work an injustice. There is, however, another view of the case. Improvements are things which, it seems to mo, do not require a limit for these reasons—they are things gone and past; they are capable of valuation, they raise simple and obvious questions, such as "Who made them?" and "What are they worth?" and these questions can only be decided by the evidence offered to the court as to what these improvements are worth and the amount the tenant ought to have. There is no reason that I know of for limiting the quantum of compensation, in that case any more than there is for limiting the quantum in an ordinary case of damages. I will not go into the merits of the question of compensation for eviction, because that is of an entirely different nature altogether, being in the nature of an estimate. It is something future, and must be, to a certain extent, vague and conjectural; it is therefore, most desirable, in the interest of the landlord, that that compensation should be limited, and that it should not be left indefinite, vague, or to the discretion of a court of any kind, or to any person. Besides that, it is desirable that there should be a limit, if it was only to fix some sort of an approximate standard for the scale on which compensation in this matter should be given; because, when you have injuries of this nature you cannot deal with them alike, for various men will assess things very differently, and, therefore, landlords would have a right to complain if we left indefinite the jurisdiction on this matter. These were sufficient reasons to reconsider this subject—which, after all, is not of the first consequence—and it will be for the Committee to say whether we could reasonably have done anything different. But this, I will say, that anything more preposterous than to suppose that the bringing forward such a proposition—of which notice was given on the second reading—in such a manner should prevent the right hon. Gentleman, or any set of hon. Gentlemen, who had begun by having confidence in this measure, from approving it and having confidence in the conduct of the Government cannot be imagined. Then, as to the second part of the right hon. Gentleman's proposition—namely, that compensation should be given for interference with the course of husbandry, not only has he said nothing in favour of that proposition, but he has pronounced an opinion distinctly against it; because he has said that, in his opinion, the justice of the case will be entirely met by compensation being given for improvements. You cannot, however, call husbandry an improvement, because the right hon. Gentleman puts it in addition to the clause about improvements; and therefore, I have the right hon. Gentleman's authority against his own clause, that authority being strengthened by the fact that he has not said a single word in its favour. This gives me a right to say a little against it. There is one thing which I suppose hon. Gentlemen who sit behind him will listen to—namely, that in this clause the right hon. Gentleman has done what I should have found it very difficult to do. It appears to me that everything except the tare abstract law is entirely different in the case of England from that of Ireland with regard to the tenure of land; and, although the right hon. Gentleman fears that whatever we do in Ireland will be imported into England, his ingenuity has been such that he has actually contrived to propose for Ireland a clause that might be made a precedent in England on the only point, as far as I am aware, which his felicitous ingenuity could select for this Amendment. But, passing over that, the people, if any, who would be entitled to compensation for quitting their holdings are the small holders, because the large holders will naturally make improvements. What, Sir, is the farming of the man with a £5 holding? I am afraid it is a fearful monotony of potatoes. What compensation can he have for his course of husbandry being interrupted? Will four or five years' scientific culture, which has brought certain crops out of the ground, entitle him to be treated well? Has he a single thing which entitles him to be compensated, not only for what he has spent, but also for what he would have got out of the land had he been allowed to go on to completion? What consolation is that to the small people with whom we are dealing? Yet, those are the very people for whom this scale is intended. The large people can take care of themselves; it is the small ones who want to be benefited; and this being the ingenious way which the right hon. Gentleman has selected for doing it, I do not wonder that he had not a word to say for his proposition. He made a statement which showed that he entirely disapproved the Amendment he introduced, because anything more entirely subversive of his intention I cannot conceive. The truth is, there is no reason for selecting the course of husbandry or any single injury. This is a specimen, but the principle, if good for anything, is good not only with regard to the course of husbandry, but for all the injury a man might sustain by having to quit his occupation; and why he should pick out this particular thing, which would not apply to the farmers of Ireland, but would apply to the farmers of England, I cannot conceive. Sir, I think I have answered the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman. I say "answered" it, although the truth is he has not said anything relating to it. And now I wish to point out, because we are challenged on this subject, that although the right hon. Gentleman moved the Amendment he, at the same time told us that he disapproved it; and, in fact, it was his opinion that there ought to be no compensation at all for disturbance in a holding. That is a question well worthy the consideration of the House, and I think he has a perfect right to call upon the Government for an answer on that point. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Dr. Ball) told us the other night that we treated eviction or a disturbance of holding as a wrong, and punished it accordingly, Now Sir, I deny that we treat it as a wrong. The disturbance of a tenant by eviction is a legal act, and a man is right in doing it. But though we admit so much, and although we treat it as a right, yet it is a right the exercise of which is peculiarly liable to abuse. The exercise of that right carries with it what jurists call "imperfect moral obligations," which a man cannot dis- charge simply and alone, and without considering many collateral circumstances, if he is a just, honourable, and benevolent man. It is a right the legality of which we have never denied or sought to set aside, but it is a right which ought to be exercised with great care, discretion, kindness, and moderation, because, if it be wrongly exercised, it is a calamity not only to the tenant, not only, as frequently happens in Ireland, to the parties who execute that right, but also to the neighbourhood, the county, the country, and the Empire at large. We have, therefore, a right to say that, for the sustenance of good order and the welfare of society, we must jealously watch the exercise of this right, guard carefully against its abuse, and show to every landlord that the law, as far as it can, would have him act as a good and an honourable man. I put it to any person whether he would himself evict a small tenant, and turn him out on the wide world without a shilling in his pocket to seek his fortune? There is nothing in the law as it stands, whether in England, Scotland, or Ireland, to compel him not to do it; but is the law what it ought to be? Is there not a duty attendant upon such an act? Look at where that duty is systematically violated—though I do not say that such a thing happens in Ireland now, because there are causes that prevent it; but it has happened, and it is to what has happened in Ireland in other days that we owe the sad necessity which at present exists of dealing with this question. You must remember that to turn a poor man out of his holding is not an act of an insignificant character. To the tenant it sometimes means the ruin of his expectations, and very frequently, indeed, his sinking out of the class of life in which he lived into another far below. You must remember, also, that the man who evicts, or has the power of evicting, is frequently both the judge and executioner in his own cause. He tries it himself, and inclines, as we all do, to his own opinion and interest, and for that, as things stand at present, there is no remedy. Remember that there is no possibility by which a man, however prudent he may be, can guard himself against the exercise of this right in Ireland, because, owing to the competition for land in Ireland, if a man was to ask for any sort of security hundreds would be ready to bid against him, and therefore no prudent man, be he ever so wise in his own interest, can guard himself from the exercise of this right. More might be said on the subject; but what I wish to point out is that even, although this right be not exercised, its existence in its present shape is a standing danger to the very foundation of society in Ireland. The fact is, that a man who has this power of eviction can so use that power as to enable him to extort terms from his tenant which from another point of view he would not be enabled to exact. It keeps up feelings of bitterness between the two classes, and will keep them up, unless we can make the poor man securer than at present and teach moderation to some of the rich. Look at the abominable system of the perpetual issue of notices to quit, so that, from the time a man enters upon his tenancy, even in the first year, notice may be given to him, and he is always kept under fear of immediate eviction—a case which constantly happens in Ireland. All this might be endured if it were not for the evil that has sprung from it and the terrible state in which Ireland now is. There is no doubt that hard conduct by the landlord and evictions in days long past have popularized murder in Ireland, and have made people look upon a murderer as a man not entirely in the wrong. When this feeling has once been created, observe the progress it makes. It has now passed from the landlord and tenant to the people themselves; outrages which used to be mainly directed against the landlord and persons in his employ are now directed against others. No injury is too slight—the discarding of a servant, the dismissal of a porter by a railway official, underselling by a tradesman—anything is a sufficient excuse for shedding blood. What is the fountain of bitterness from which these waters first flowed? Has not this demoralizing practice sprung up mainly because the law did not give the tenant relief, and the tenant grew to think he was entitled to take the law into his own hands? I was very much struck by a passage in Judge Longfield's essay on this subject. If, he says, you give fixity of tenure in Ireland, you will only alter a heading in the newspapers, and for "Agrarian Outrage" you will have to read "Domestic Tragedy;" because these practices, nursed by the evils of land tenure, have become fully domesticated among the people. This being the state of the case, the Government felt that it was no longer endurable, and the object of the present Bill is to remedy it, as far as legislation can do so. We have not, however, treated eviction as a wrong, nor have we given damages for eviction. We have given compensation—which is of course the same thing as damages, one being the Latin and the other the English form of the word—to any person for any loss he shall sustain in quitting his holding. But we have not imposed an arbitrary fine. In this country we have a tenure of leases renewable on payment of a fine by the tenant. That tenure has not worked sufficiently well to encourage the Government to propose any such system in Ireland. All we have done has been to say to the tenant—"Prove the loss you have sustained, and within a certain limit you shall receive compensation." We have not altered the tenure of land; we have studiously avoided doing so; but we have said where a wrong can be proved we will give within moderate and fair limits a summary remedy. That is the whole effect of what we have done, and I beg hon. Members to read the Bill and compare this statement with the statement about the invasion of the rights of property and the establishment of dangerous principles put forward by the right hon. Gentleman. No doubt, besides the relief given to the tenant, we have another view. We do wish to put, in a moderate and not an extreme manner, some sort of check upon the practice of eviction. In our view, eviction is a most weighty and momentous step, and we are anxious it should not be lightly taken. At the same time, the discretion rests with the landlord; he may take it or not as he pleases. Now, what are the objections raised to the course we propose? It is described as an invasion of the rights of property. But our object more than anything else was to avoid any invasion of the rights of property, and was, further, to strengthen the present possession of property in Ireland. We find property in Ireland at this day guarded by 14,000 police and 25,000 soldiers; and even this force cannot protect the lives of people who have committed no other offence than that of being the proprietors of the soil. We felt that there was no permanency about such a state of things; that if property was to remain property, you must not rely solely upon force for its protection, and that, not merely for the sake of the tenant, but for the sake of the landlord, something must be done in the way of conciliation. I can assure hon. Gentlemen that, in our opinion, foolish as some of them may think it, this Bill is the foundation of a better state of things in Ireland—a state of things in which each man shall respect the rights of his neighbour, the tenant the rights of the landlord, the landlord those of the tenant. Again it is said, and no one would be more disposed than I should be to yield to such an argument, that the Bill offends against the principles of political economy. In one sense there is no doubt it is so. Political economy belongs to no nation; it is of no country. It is the science of the rules for the protection, the accumulation, the distribution, and the consumption of wealth. It will assert itself whether you wish it or not. It is founded on the attributes of the human mind, and no power can change it. It teaches you the best way of accumulating the most wealth in the shortest time; and if our object was to accumulate for Ireland the most wealth in the shortest time, it would be perfectly right to try the Bill by the principles of political economy. But that is not the object of the Bill. Our object was a different one. It was to give security to life; to save society from rushing down towards destruction; to give to property the security it is fast losing; to give confidence to people who will not trust each other; to break down the mischiefs and the abuses of centuries; and give some sort of common ground upon which people might unite. These were the objects we had in view, and it is by its likelihood of attaining these objects, and not by its conformity or nonconformity to the principles of political economy, that the Bill must be be tried. The principles of political economy! Why, we violate them every day. What rule of political economy is better established than that every man shall be free to exercise any calling he likes? Yet we have a system of trade licences. Another equally well-established rule of political economy is that there shall be no monopoly of anything. Yet we have just raised £7,000,000 to buy up for the State a monopoly in telegraphing, and the State has long had a monopoly in the Post Office. The truth is you cannot settle all the complicated relations of mankind by the rules of political economy. Political economy is the science of wealth, and where wealth is the question you cannot do better than follow it. But then, says the right hon. Gentleman, the question is not only agrarian, but political. If he will only allow me to substitute police for political, I shall be inclined to agree with him. He says we ought to be prepared to do for Scotland and England what we are doing for Ireland. Now, observe that every single ground I have put forward on behalf of the Government and in support of the Bill has been exclusively on Irish ground. There is not one which rests on any point common to the two countries. Happily, most happily, none of the things I have mentioned as regards this Bill apply even in the smallest degree to Great Britain. It has not been on any abstract principles, it has not been with the idea of introducing any improvement into the law on political or jurisprudential principles that the Bill has been brought forward. It has been brought forward after careful investigation of the mischiefs now existing in Ireland, and with the sole view of remedying them. It does not alter property, and we believe if it passes it will leave Irish landlords possessed of a better hold upon their estates than they have at present. I rather think they are of that opinion, too. The right hon. Gentleman's zeal on this subject has been warm; but we have seen no proof that it is shared in this House by Irish landlords generally. Of course, we have had to steer between two extremes—between Scylla, impersonated by the right hon. Gentleman, who tells us we should do nothing more than give compensation for improvements, and Charybdis, represented by those who advocate fixity of tenure. We have gone to neither extreme. We have endeavoured without shaking the foundation of property to give adequate relief to the tenants; we have entirely repudiated the notion of fixity of tenure; and I think the Irish landlords are very wise in acquiescing. What would be the only result supposing the Bill failed? Why, they would be in this most miserable position: they would find themselves in the claws of the right hon. Gentleman, who would then be at the head of the Government with a fine working minority in this House. When that time came they might indeed tremble. I think I already hear the speech which the right hon. Gentleman would make to the House. he would say it was a mockery and a delusion to give compensation to the tenant in case of eviction; such a remedy would fail because it did not go deep enough; and the only panacea for Ireland was fixity of tenure, with a periodical re-valuation of rents. It may be that the right hon. Gentleman will fail; but if he succeeds I am sure he will leave the case of Ireland much worse than he finds it. It was bad enough before, for "hope deferred maketh the heart sick;" but hope baffled and destroyed rouses the most violent and revengeful passions. I can only trust we shall not have the disagreeable reflection that this Session, which opened, as some of us thought, with auspices so bright for Ireland, will leave no other monument behind than a Coercion Bill—a measure odious even to those whose misfortune it is to prepare it and carry it through the House. If that result comes to pass it will only remind us once more how much easier it is to stir up men to return evil for evil than to induce them to overcome evil with good.


Sir, I think that most of us will feel that the speech which has just been addressed to us by the Chancellor of the Exchequer can hardly be considered an answer to the speeches which he has formerly delivered in this House. The conclusion at which the right hon. Gentleman has arrived he imputes partly to dread of future inconsistency in those hon. Gentlemen who sit on this side of the House; but his remarks, I think, might be much more properly applied to himself, who has been guilty of an inconsistency so gross and deliberate that it is perfectly unexampled in political history. Sir, two years ago—and only two years ago—subsequent to that great revolution which was to change all his opinions, the right hon. Gentleman got up in the House and said that, after sitting for two years upon Committees examining into the condition of Ireland, he had arrived at the conclusion that no grievance in the relations of landlord and tenant had been established; and he went on to say that things in Ireland ought to be conducted upon the principles of political economy. Sir, that political economy, which from the Bench opposite he has now thrown overboard, he then declared was the panacea for all the ills and wrongs of Ireland. I know not, Sir, what has changed the opinions of the right hon. Gentleman, except it be his change of place. The right hon. Gentleman has, again and again, imputed much inconsistency to us who sit upon this side; but he is the last man in this House who ought to warn against inconsistency. Let it never be forgotten, Sir, that the right hon. Gentleman remained a Member of a Government which was preparing and producing a Reform Bill that he admits he was opposed to. Although, Sir, he held views opposed to his Colleagues upon that matter, he did not leave that Government, nor did he openly denounce it. On the contrary, he remained a Member of that Government, and was a party to a Reform Bill of which he did not approve. It was only afterwards that he expressed opinions at variance with it. Nay, even when he was in Opposition, he voted for the Resolution on which the Earl of Derby's Government was turned out of Office in 1859, which Resolution was founded upon that very lowering of the franchise which the right hon. Gentleman afterwards repudiated. I think, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman has little cause for reflecting upon us for our inconsistency. He should rather look at home, and consider what he has done, and is still doing. Political enonomy, it seems, now is to be discarded. Political economy will no longer serve his purpose. It served very well in Opposition; but it will not serve upon the Bench upon which the right hon. Gentleman now sits. Formerly, we were told by the right hon. Gentleman that the relationship between landlord and tenant in Ireland ought not to be settled without due regard to the principles of political economy; but he now tells us that they may be settled without reference to any such consideration. He says that the relations of landlord and tenant in Ireland are so peculiar that they cannot be settled as they are in England or Scotland. But I would ask him, have there been no evictions in the Highlands? Have there been no clearances there? The right hon. Gentleman told us that he has said nothing but what is applicable to Ireland alone, and that he has argued this question as one solely affecting that country. Now, Sir, I say that he has done nothing of the kind. He put the argument upon the distinct foundation that there was a moral duty existing between the landlord and the tenant. Why, Sir, is there no such thing as a moral duty existing between landlords and tenants in England and Scotland? Is moral duty confined to Ireland? The right hon. Gentleman, I maintain, in putting the question upon that footing, treats it as a question affecting the whole united Empire. What we affirm is—and the right hon. Gentleman has said nothing to contradict our assertion—that the action which the Government are now taking will form a precedent both for England and Scotland. But I will go a little farther. We are told that these evictions are not, strictly speaking, wrong in point of law, but that they are liable to abuse. Let me ask the right hon. Gentleman, what relation is there between two persons which is not liable to abuse? Are not the relations between master and servant liable to abuse? The right hon. Gentleman may say the servant has no claim to property in his place. If you put this question upon the ground of moral duty, I do not see why a discharged servant should not be placed upon the same footing as a discharged tenant, and why he should not have so many months' or years' wages given him on discharge as compensation for the loss of his place. All relations are liable to abuse. [Mr. LOWE: I am, it seems, liable to abuse.] If so, the right hon. Gentleman has brought the liability on himself by the very strong language in which he has thought proper to address us on this side. We have been told that the murders which have been committed in Ireland have their root in the grievances of Ireland. But it seems to have been overlooked by the right hon. Gentleman that the vindictive murders to which he referred—of masters for having dismissed their servants, of persons who have entered into competition in trade, are not crimes having their origin in the occupation of land. This moral duty argument, therefore, should not be confined to evictions; and have there been no cases of vindictive mur- ders in England because servants have been dismissed—no trade outrages? If we look at the history of the matter, we shall find that it does not bear out what the right hon. Gentleman has said with respect to evictions. There has, for instance, been a very much larger proportion of evictions in Ulster than in any of the other Provinces, and yet Ulster has been free from the crime which disgraces the other Provinces, Moreover, if you look properly at this question you will find that the vast proportion of these evictions are evictions for non-payment of rent, which this Bill does not touch. I maintain that evictions have not been the cause of agrarian crime, and I say that that is proved by the condition of Ulster, where the evictions have been proportionately most numerous, the majority being for non-payment of rent. In Ulster there has been one eviction out of 1,260 holdings; in Munster, one out of 4,289 holdings; in Leinster, one out of 3,295 holdings; and in Connaught, one out of 2,684 holdings. Now, Sir, if this be the case—if we find more evictions in Ulster, where agrarian outrage is comparatively unknown—I maintain that the evictions themselves do not form alone such a ground-work as to justify the legislation which the Government proposes. The right hon. Gentleman speaks of the condition of particular districts of Ireland in which murder has been popularized, and says that the grievances of Ireland have been the cause of the wholesale murders; but surely, before the Committee is asked to legislate upon such a footing, they must first come to the conclusion that they are about to meet the evils which have so popularized murder. When the Committee is asked to pass a clause of this nature, surely they should have some sort of assurance that they are passing a clause which will effect the object in view. Now, have we any signs of that? On the contrary, in every Tenant-Farmers' Club in Ireland the Government scheme is repudiated. We find that the people, who have taken an active part in the agitation of the matter, have all repudiated it; and we find, further, that the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have sent home a distinct intimation on the subject. And here, Sir, I may say that it is a remarkable thing that the Roman Catholic Bishops should continually instruct the Irish Members respecting their duties in this House. In delicate phraseology no doubt, but still in terms distinct enough, the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, as represented by Dr. Furlong, have condemned this Bill as being wholly inadequate for its purposes; and they ask for things which I trust this House will never grant, because they are subversive of every right of property which anyone can exercise. What, let me ask, will be the effect of this clause? Will it, or will it not, create something which does not at present exist? In the discussion upon the Ulster tenant-right clause the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government and the Chief Secretary for Ireland uniformly asserted that they were treating the subject as virtually one of covenant between the landlord and tenant. In the 1st clause, therefore, we were dealing only with the subject as between landlord and tenant, and we were not called upon to put upon the landlord anything to which he had not virtually given his assent; but when we come to the 3rd clause we find ourselves in a totally different position. It is because the landlord does not assent that we are subjecting him to this new piece of legislation, the effect of which will be that when he evicts a tenant except for non-payment of rent he will be liable to damages. In many cases, and almost uniformly in the case of small tenants, landlords in Ireland, when they have found it necessary to remove tenants, even for non-payment of rent, have acted in a kind spirit, and have forgiven them their arrears and even assisted them with money to emigrate. But I what right have you to turn a generous and charitable practice in respect of small tenancies, answering to that moral duty you have described, into a legal; obligation, and to extend it coereively to all tenancies and impose it upon all landlords? I say that by doing this you are creating a property which did not exist before. You are giving a man something which he never had before, and you cannot give it him without taking it from somebody else. The right hon. Gentleman said that to grant fixity of tenure would necessitate the compensation of landlords out of the Consolidated Fund; but if you take away part, is it not in principle the same as taking the whole? If it be wrong to take away twenty-one years' purchase without com- pensation, upon what principle are you to take away seven years' purchase without it? Is there anything in the circumstances of the tenant which can justify the House in so legislating, or even the landlords in so acting, except the dictates of compassionate feeling? My right hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire has been attacked for what he has said with respect to this clause and its alteration. What he said was this—that as originally drawn the clause was ambiguous in its language, and that some such Amendment as the one he proposed would be necessary. He recognized the improvements, and put down upon the Notice Paper an Amendment expanding what was originally in the Bill. In the clause, as it stood, regard was to be had to the improvements made by the tenant or his predecessors in title, and to the loss sustained by him in quitting his holding, but the former part has now been struck out. It has thus become clear that the scale of compensation originally laid down was to cover the improvements, and the damages for quitting the holding Now, however, although the improvements have been withdrawn, the scale, instead of being made lower, has been made practically higher. First of all, you were to pay for improvements upon a certain scale; then you cut out the improvements, and yet you put in damages quite equal to what you were prepared to give for improvements and loss of tenancy together. Surely, this is a most important alteration of the Bill. Then there was a clause by which the landlord was entitled to offer a thirty-one years' lease, and if the tenant refused to accept it the landlord was free from further claims. That clause is to be struck out of the Bill. What answer have we to the remarks made by my right hon. Friend on that subject? We are told that there will be something else in the Bill which will modify this; but as yet the new clause is not on the Paper. It is therefore rather hard to call upon us to approve of something which we have never seen, and which is to be substituted for a clause which has been, or will be, removed from the Bill. The question of compensation for disturbance comes before us for the first time in the Amendment of the Chief Secretary for Ireland in a bare and naked form. In Ireland, hitherto, the tenant who was obliged to give up possession because his lease had terminated has not received anything for the cessation of his lease; the tenant has been evicted without any right to claim compensation from his landlord for the mere fact of eviction. Now, if this Bill is carried he will get compensation for that which never belonged to him, and be able to demand it from a person who was never bound to give it to him. If the landlord, without harshly evicting him or forgetting in any way his moral duty, at the termination of a lease anything short of thirty-one years, says—"I do not wish you to continue my tenant any longer;" then the tenant is empowered to go to his landlord and say—"I am entitled to seven years' rental because you terminate my lease. ["No, no!"] I will explain what I mean. I know that the seven years' rental may be cut down in consequence of other circumstances; but so far from the tenant being expected, as my right hon. Friend (Mr. Lowe) has just said, to claim what he is to get, it was distinctly stated by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government that the seven years was to be the starting point, and it was the landlord who was to cut down the amount. What is it you do by this Bill? At the close of a tenancy on a lease, or by notice to quit, the tenant is to bring in his bill—and he brings it in at the highest point, saying to the landlord—"If you object to the demand, it is for you to show the Judge why it should be cut down." Is it consistent, I do not say with the rights of property, but with common sense, to throw upon a man who is paying something for which your very legislation admits that he was never indebted the onus of proving that he never owed it, and of cutting down the claim as well as he can? It is as if when you had paid a bill to one of your tradesmen and he brought it in again you were not to be entitled to produce the receipt, but to be obliged to go through the account to prove that you never had some of the articles. It has been clearly understood, in regard to leases lapsing by virtue of time, that tenants would never have such a right as this Bill proposes to give them. Numbers of leases have been given in Ireland on that understanding. I know of one instance in which a gentlemen spent £5,000 or £6,000 upon property he bought, and let it on a nineteen years' lease. Being a Scotchman he considered that that would cover everything; but now he will be called upon to pay compensation to his tenant for loss of occupancy on the termination of his lease. ["No, no!"] Then I will put it in this way. His tenant will be able to come to him at the close of his tenancy, and, if he does not renew it, say—"You must pay me damages for my removal, or you must show me the reason why [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER: The clause will only apply to the case of leases made after the passing of this Act.] Then I am wrong; because I am speaking of an existing lease. But suppose a man gives a lease in the same way after the passing of this Act, that will be the result, and you will prevent by this step the granting of improving leases, which are the best things you can have for the country, And there will be no means of getting rid of this provision in leases subsequent to the passing of the Act, because by this clause, for the first time within my knowledge of Acts of Parliament, contracts are absolutely forbidden. I will say one word as to why we should give a definition of this process. I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) in thinking that compensation for unexhausted improvements made by the tenant and for interruption in the completion of any course of husbandry suited to his holding is in itself sufficient to do justice to him; but, at the same time, I am quite aware that there is a, feeling in Ireland, and that, to a certain extent, there has been a practice in Ireland, in accordance with which landlords actuated by generous motives have, with great liberality, helped tenants who left their holdings. But now the matter is to be referred to a court, and yet you are going to send it without any definition to guide the Judge, or anything on which he can found a decision. It is most important that you should in a question of this kind, which has never arisen between landlord and tenant before, give the Judge some basis upon which he may act. What sort of basis is that to be? We say there is no wrong in eviction in itself, and that has been admitted by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. we say, however, further, there may happen to be cases where a man has entered upon a course of husbandry and would be injured by a sudden eviction; and in such cases the Judge would have power to interfere. If no such course has been entered upon, and if there be no unexhausted improvements in the case, then I think there is no wrong and no loss in the event of eviction. In the arguments which have been addressed to the Committee throughout this investigation it has been so clearly shown that this must after all become a question, not for Ireland only, but for England and Scotland also, that f will not be a party to laying down a principle which, as my right hon. Friend has said, is so vague and general. I consider some kind of definition to be; necessary for the guidance of the Judge; and I shall give my hearty support to the Amendment of my right hon. Friend.


Sir, I can assure the Government that I do not intend on this occasion to criticize in any hostile spirit this clause or any other portion of the Bill; nor shall I retract anything I said on the second reading in favour of the spirit in which the measure as a whole has been proposed. But it may be in the recollection of those who heard me on the occasion to which I refer, that I said I felt there were serious difficulties in connection with that part of the 3rd clause relating to compensation to the tenant for quitting his farm. At the same time I said—what I do not want to recede from now, that I considered it, possible, for the reasons so fully and so eloquently stated by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to-night—reasons arising from the peculiar circumstances of Ireland—that it might be for the interest of the landlords as well as that of the I tenants to depart to some extent from the ordinary principles of legislation in such matters, by providing, in the shape of compensation, a penalty or fine on arbitrary evictions. I thought that much regard was due to the views of hon. Members from Ireland, who are well acquainted with the circumstances of property in that country, and I was struck with some of the speeches of those hon. Gentlemen, and especially with the remark of the hon. Member for the county of Carlow (Mr. Kavanagh) that so far as this compensation might be regarded as a check on arbitrary and unreasonable evictions, he looked upon it us a benefit to the proprietors of land. If is, therefore, unnecessary for me to say that I cannot interpret this compensation in the narrow way my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) seems to interpret it, or in the way the right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment (Mr. Disraeli) understands it. I cannot but admit that something more is intended to be given than the mere value of unexhausted improvements, or than the value of the probable return from any course of husbandry suited to the holding, which has been interrupted in the process of completion. But having said this, I must express my opinion that in giving this compensation the most extreme caution is required; because, unless in its practical application you keep the principle within proper limits, and accompany it with all reasonable chocks, it will become an invasion of all the rights of property. Therefore, though unable to go the length of supporting the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), which would eliminate that element from the Bill, I think the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment gives us the opportunity of examining with advantage the whole operation of the clause in connection with all other parts of the Bill which relate to this particular compensation. Whatever I say on these matters will be said not only in good faith, but in the hope that if my observations are reasonable they may be fairly considered by the Government; and I do trust that when applying myself to points of detail, I may not be met by the argument that such points involve the principle of the Bill, and, therefore, that criticisms upon them are not admissible. I cannot but admit, with hon. Gentlemen opposite, that very serious changes affecting this matter have been made in the Bill since its introduction; and I think those changes aggravate the difficulty and render it all the more necessary that the details of the measure should, undergo a very careful examination. In the first place, a great change has been made which I think has not been much noticed. I mean that which gives the tenant holding under the Ulster tenant-right custom, the option of claiming either under that custom or under the provisions applying to other tenants throughout Ireland. Again, in the 3rd clause, the scale of compensation is unaltered as regards its limits, although one of the factors, and that the most important one, has been removed from the calculation—a rather alarming circumstance, which will be likely very materially to alter the operation of the clause in connection with subsequent clauses which were intended as safeguards. Then there is to be left out what I always regarded as a great safety-valve—namely, the option allowed to the landlord of giving a thirty-one years' lease, instead of paying compensation. That appears to me a material change. And, lastly, I confess I had not understood, till the matter was explained the other evening, that the landlord who, when a lease had expired in the ordinary course, should say to the tenant—"Give me back my property," was to be treated as a disturber. I may point out, what has been hitherto lost sight of in the discussion this evening, that you have got to consider a double operation of the 3rd clause—an operation which depends upon different principles, and which in itself will practically be extremely different as to the different classes of cases. First, I will speak of its retrospective operation on existing tenancies; and, secondly, of its prospective operation on tenancies to be created hereafter. As to its retrospective operation, it alters existing contracts only as to tenancies from year to year, because that part of it is not applied to any leases whatever. But in altering existing contracts—an alteration which can be justified only by that high political necessity, and that plea of the general advantage of the community and the security of property for which such powerful reasons were assigned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer—at all events care must be taken not to extend it one iota beyond the legitimate limits to which those considerations would carry you. To that principle I apprehend we shall all agree, though, of course, we may differ to some extent as to the proper mode of acting upon it. You are there really and truly taking away something which is part of the existing right of property; but you may be doing it for considerations of benefit which may accrue to the public, and even to the class affected by it, and therefore justifying the act. But it is quite different with regard to what is prospective. The first part of the clause, which deals only with contracts to be hereafter made, does not violate essentially any of the principles of property. It merely introduces a compulsory term into all such future contracts, and inasmuch as you leave these contracts free in other respects, you will find that this power of contracting in other respects will greatly tend to modify, perhaps even to neutralize, the force of the compulsory term which you introduce into the contract. Whether it is wise or not to try so to arrange things is another; question; but it is not taking away property, it is merely dictating one of the terms on which the relations of landlord and tenant shall be constituted hereafter. But to interfere in that way prospectively with freedom of contract—to dictate new terms, and such extraordinary terms as at first sight these are, is, a thing which can only be justified by the necessity of the case, and this, again, should not be carried one single inch beyond that necessity. And here the principle is obvious on which you do both the one and the other. You believe that there is a certain class of small tenants in Ireland who cannot be trusted to contract freely for themselves. That justifies both the prospective limitation of the power of contracting, and also, in; some degree, the modification of existing contracts; but it is of essential importance to keep within the limits of the necessity. Let us see how the Bill deals with the matter. And I come now to points in which it seems to me the Bill, as it stands, is really open to fair; censure and criticism. Surely the necessity of interfering with existing contracts cannot possibly apply to holdings above a certain value, nor to bonâ fide leases of definite duration. As to those leases, it has been truly said that the; men who take them understand perfectly well that they take them for a definite term, and that they are to give; up their holdings at the end of that term; and they have no right afterwards to say they have made arrangements, or done anything whatever, except in view of that well-understood; part of their contract. I speak of bond fide leases, because I have not forgotten what was said the other night by my; right hon. Friend at the head of the Government, and which deserves our attention—namely, that if you except everything that looks like a lease, you might have a nominal lease made for a year or so merely to get out of the operation of the Bill. Now, I think you might, perhaps, take the limit of seven years, though I would not bind myself to that. Seven years would, at all events, be a bonâ fide and not a merely colourable lease; and I do not see why, if a farmer enters into a lease for seven years, or for any longer period, you are to alter his contract, and to say that after the expiration of the seven years it shall be continued as a lease from year to year, which is a totally different thing. Then, as to holdings over a certain value, I wish the Committee and the (government to see what the actual effect of this Bill is. The retrospective part of the 3rd clause extends absolutely to yearly tenancies of any value whatsoever. If there is a tenant from year to year of 500 acres, at £2 an acre, that tenant cannot receive notice to quit without being enabled to call upon his landlord to pay him a year's rent under this new scale. Well, Sir, that is perfectly extravagant. [An hon. MEMBER: He is to prove his loss.] We have had a comparison drawn between the language of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer tonight and the view submitted, I am sure bonâ fide, by some other Members of the Government on a former occasion. We certainly did hear before, that primâ facie the Judge would give every tenant the full amount of compensation, unless his landlord could show a good reason for reducing it. It may be said, that the Bill itself does not require that to be done; but I shall presently show, when I come to observe upon the effect of the change in the 3rd clause, that there will be the greatest possible difficulty—unless some words are introduced into the 14th or Equities Clause—in resisting the conclusion that the Bill means primâ facie that the value of the loss of the holding shall be assessed at the maximum, leaving the amount subject to be reduced. At all events, if that be not the intention, there ought to be much more care taken with the words of the 14th clause than has been taken at present, in order to make it plain that the landlord is not to be mulcted in that manner when he has good reason to show for giving notice to his tenant to quit. Without any reason for it, that I can imagine, you bring in large tenancies which ought to be excluded. You have words in the retrospective part of the clause which introduce every tenancy from year to year whatever its amount. That flagrantly interferes with the rights of pro- perty; which, can only be justified where there exists that kind of necessity for it which the Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out. But, even in the prospective part of the clause, it appears to me that you go much farther than can be justified by any sufficient reason, because prospectively any tenancy, whatever may be its magnitude, is included, except under the limitations of the 10th clause. What are those limitations? One is, that, if the tenancy is over £100, it may be excluded by contract. But there is another class of tenancies—those over £50 and under £100, value. I am satisfied, from all I have heard of Ireland, that tenancies of land, valued at £50 a year and upwards, are not tenancies of the class which requires this extraordinary legislation. I am convinced that we may safely except them altogether from the Bill, and I am prepared, therefore, to agree with an Amendment of which an hon. Friend behind me (Mr. W. Fowler) has given notice which would have that effect. What do you do in the 10th clause as to these tenancies? Why, you propose to except them also; but only upon the condition that there must be a twenty-one years' lease, and very special provisions as to improvements, which are to be made by the landlord, or to be made substantially at his expense. I see no reason for that. These are cases in which the parties can be, and ought to be, left to make their own contract, and the moment you get into a region of value beyond that with which political necessity compels you to deal, you expose yourself to this remark, that you are doing something which, if just in Ireland, would be just in England and Scotland too. On the subject of leases, it seems to me that the latter part of the 3rd clause, which says that a lease of thirty-one years shall take a tenancy out of the clause, is very much like proscribing in Ireland, as far as you can, all leases for less than thirty-one years. For what conceivable reason? In England an ordinary agricultural lease does not exceed twenty-one years, and seven or fourteen years is a common term. In Scotland, I believe, nineteen years' leases are common. But no one has ever pointed out, so far as I know, that in the case of Irish leases, where you deal upon terms corresponding to those common in England and Scotland, you are dealing with a class of tenants who cannot be trusted to make and understand their own bargains. And I certainly, for my own part, see no reason why any bonâ fide lease—and seven years, at all events, I hold to be a bonâ fide term for a lease—is not to take effect according to any contract between the parties in the past or to be made in the future. I have a few words more to say, about the magnitude of this enormous scale—for enormous it does appear to me to be—now that it covers nothing except the disturbance of the tenancy. And it must, I really think, have been so originally in the view of the Government themselves, because as the Bill stood at first they made it the measure of two things, one of which, if it is now to be left out, so as to make it the measure of only one of those two things, shows, to say the least, a considerable alteration of opinion on their part in that respect. Is it not really an enormous thing to say that the loss by eviction is to be measured in any case whatever at so much as seven years' rental? And here I cannot help pointing out that under the 8th clause it is proposed to apply that principle retrospectively, even to some cases of eviction for non-payment of rent. I come now to the point to which I alluded before—namely, the way in which the change made in this 3rd clause will affect the usefulness of the 14th, which is called the Equities Clause, as modifying and mitigating the severity of the 3rd. When you couple together two such things as improvements and loss by quitting the tenancy, then it is very fitting to give one reading to this clause and the 14th, because there would be an enormous margin for the judgment of the court, for the improvements must be taken into account in every case, and it must necessarily be, that there would be a variety of cases. But when you have nothing whatever to deal with except the single fact of the loss by disturbance of the tenant, that is, primâ facie, much the same for one man as for another. The 14th clause, or any other that I can find, does not say that the landlord may raise his rent at all. It would look like an absolute fixing and assessment of the value by the Legislature. It will be for the Committee to make up its mind whether the claim ought not to be disallowed altogether if the conduct of the tenant has been such as to justify the landlord in giving notice to the tenant. The matter is left so vague that I am not certain how it would be dealt with, under the 14th clause. I venture, therefore, to submit that we ought to put words into that clause to the effect that no compensation for disturbance under this 3rd clause ought to be given if, in the opinion of the Court, the landlord is justified in giving notice to quit. Now, as to the effect of omitting the 16th clause, which says that a thirty-one years' lease shall take away the right of claiming compensation, that clause enables the landlord, instead of paying a sum of money down, by postponing the practical enjoyment of his property for thirty-one years, to got rid of the operation of this 3rd clause altogether—a very valuable and important thing to those landlords who might desire to fall back upon freedom of contract, or not to have those claims enforced. But that clause is now to be struck out, and for a reason which I, for one, am entirely unable to appreciate. It is said that it would be very undesirable to bring the question of rent under the consideration of the Court. But do you not, in the clauses which remain, inevitably bring the question of rent under the consideration of the Court? The 8th clause says that, under existing tenancies, a man evicted for non-payment of rent shall not be entitled to compensation unless the Court decide that he ought on special grounds. What is that but saying that the question of rent shall come under the consideration of the Court. The Equities Clause, too, though it does not say one word about rent, must be understood as authorizing the Court, in cases in which the landlord proposes to raise the rent, and the tenant says—"I wont have my rent raised," to enter into the question whether the proposal of the landlord to raise the rent is a fair one or not. If, then, the judgment of the Court must be formed in all these cases, why should you be so desperately afraid of its being formed as to the reasonableness of a lease under the 16th clause? Why not let the landlord settle the terms of the lease he may wish to offer, and the Court afterwards, if the tenant refuse to accept those terms, judge whether the lease was fair and reasonable? It appears to me that is what must be done if the two parties come into court, the landlord desiring to raise the rent and the tenant refusing to pay it. In behalf, therefore, both of the landlord and the tenant I think yon ought to retain the 16th clause, I do not say exactly in the terms in which it stands, but subject to such amendments and modifications as may be thought expedient. There is one other point which has made a considerable impression on my mind, and if that impression be unfounded I trust in the course of the discussion it will be shown to be so. There is one part of the 3rd clause—the prospective part—which appears to me likely to turn out a very great delusion; it relates to the new contracts after the passing of the Act. The tenant is to take the land from year to year, or for an indefinite term of years, with the obligation upon his landlord that if he evict the tenant or reclaim possession at the end of that period he must make the payments prescribed, or such as the Court may judge reasonable. In all other respects, you leave the power of contracting after the Act between landlord and tenant open and free. The land is supposed to be in the landlord's hands; he is not obliged to let it to any tenant, and what will be the consequences of your saddling the landlord with this contingent liability? The first consequence will be an increase of rents. The landlord will necessarily seek to indemnify himself for this contingent liability. Suppose he wants to give a seven years' lease, and that the fair rent would be £50 a year. You say that at the end of the seven years' lease, the contract being fulfilled and the landlord wishing to get possession of the land, he is to pay the tenant a sum not exceeding two years' rent. Well, what will be the result? The first step will be to make the land leased for seven years practically realize nine years' rent, in order that he may be able to pay upon your scale; and, therefore, instead of £50 the tenant will have to pay £64 on the land. The Legislature has fixed this burden on the landlord, and manifestly the landlord, in some way or other, will in the long run get his price for the land. There is no doubt about that. It will, again, have a tendency to increase the size of holdings. That may be a good thing; I believe it is; but we must take notice of it. It will have a tendency to increase the size of holdings, because if the holdings are small the landlord comes under a more burdensome part of the scale, while, if they are larger, the liability will be less burdensome. Then you offer the greatest inducement to the landlord not to let the land at all, but but to keep it on his own hands. Since nothing but a thirty-one years' lease can take the holding out of the operation of the clause, the tendency will be to drive all bargains between landlords and tenants to thirty-one years' leases. That, too, may be a good thing; but we must take notice that this is the way in which the clause will work. In some cases I believe it would do good, but in others it would do harm to the tenant. If you offer an inducement to the landlord, in order to make himself safe, to put on a greater rent than he would require in ordinary cases—because in the great proportion of those cases he will not seek unreasonably to evict the tenant—the consequence will be that the tenant will have to pay an increased rent. And the consequence of that may be that the tenant will be less able punctually to pay his rent, and, therefore, will be more liable to be evicted. Eviction for non-payment of rent will disentitle him to compensation under this 3rd clause; and so the necessity you put the landlord under of increasing his rent may lead to the tenant being unable to pay, in which case he will get no compensation. These considerations, to my mind, throw great doubt on the wisdom of this clause. But upon these points I am willing to defer to the judgment of those better acquainted with Ireland. If, notwithstanding all these objections, they should think the clause even as it stands for the benefit of the country, I should not be disposed to throw any difficulty in the way. All I will undertake to do is to support, as far as I can, any improvements or amendments that may be made in it in the way I have indicated; but for the particular Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) I think I ought not now to vote.


I have listened, Sir, with much attention to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gathorne Hardy), preceding the one we have just heard, for the purpose of ascertaining whether he put that interpretation on the clause as originally proposed by the Government which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) and the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) on last Friday appear to have done. I was very anxious to learn whether they still maintain that the Government, in proposing the Amendment which has been put on the Paper in my name, have done what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire the other day called the introduction, not only of a new clause, but a new Bill. Although the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford was somewhat indefinite in his statement, the only way one could put any definite meaning upon that statement, or upon the eloquent phrases of the right hon. Member for the University of Dublin the other night, was by assuming that those right hon. Gentlemen have entirely and absolutely misunderstood the whole meaning of Clause 3, as proposed by the Government. That, in the case of Gentlemen of great sagacity and perspicacity, is not a little astonishing. If the argument of these right hon. Gentlemen means anything, it means this, that after long and careful deliberation, the Government intended nothing but this, that where the Court should find improvements upon the farm of an evicted tenant which deserved compensation, over and above the value of these improvements, something additional was to be given by way of compensation for disturbance. Nothing on the face of the Bill, and nothing which has been said by the Government, ought to countenance such an interpretation. The Government always intended that over and above the question of improvements and separate and distinct from them there should be, at the discretion of a competent Court, a certain award given in consideration of the loss by the tenant of continuance of occupation; and I believe we have succeeded in making that plain to all but the two right hon. Gentlemen opposite. Nevertheless, after all the discussion which this land question has gone through, we are now informed that the question of evictions in Ireland is so insignificant in itself that it is beneath our notice, that the only question to be dealt with is the question of im- provements, capable of being measured by the scale and the pound, under the rigid survey of the court. If that were the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, I am sorry we did not discover it sooner, because not only by the terms of the Bill, but by our whole language we made it manifest that we had come to the conclusion, forced on us by the circumstances of Ireland, that the land question is not to be settled by mere compensation for improvements. I beg to state that the right hon. Member for Oxford University, who says that evictions are very rare in Ireland, takes a most inadequate and delusive view of the matter. No doubt they are rare compared with their number in former years, because public opinion has become stronger, and the tenant class has ceased to be so helpless as it was, especially in the years immediately following the famine. And another reason, which all must deplore, now renders evictions comparatively rare. Eviction, indeed, is the ultima ratio to which the landlord resorts; but let the Committee consider the number of notices to quit. If the Committee would only read the Reports of the Poor Law Inspectors, whose knowledge and impartiality are beyond suspicion, it would see in what a state of continual insecurity Irish tenants often live—insecurity not depending on the mere number of evictions that can be recorded in a Return or in a Blue Book. The right hon. Member for Oxford University taunted the Government because the Bill was, as he said, rejected by certain authorities, lay and clerical, and he seemed to think that their disapproval was an argument in his favour; but that disapproval really meant that, instead of taking the moderate and efficient course of imposing conditions on the exercise of the landlord's power of eviction, the Government ought to annihilate and destroy the power altogether. Our belief is that by the efficient though moderate course we have taken in this Bill we shall save Irish landlords from an agitation which would be far more formidable than anything which has hitherto taken place. It is not for me to deny that this 3rd clause will impose a new condition on the exercise of certain rights of property. It will impose a new condition on the exercise of the right of eviction, and why should we deny it? But that is not the only new condition. The conditions with respect to improvements, which had the sanction of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, are also new. They are retrospective, and the right hon. Gentleman agrees to them; and it would be strange if he did not, because he and his party have agreed to them before. The right hon. Member for Oxford University says that by this clause we are forcing on all landlords that which the benevolence of a good landlord prompts him to do. I take that mode of viewing the case, and I say that in choosing this method of restricting the use of what in. the circumstances of Ireland is a most formidable power—that of eviction—we have adopted a course most consonant with the usages of the best managed estates in that country, and creating the smallest interference between the landlord and the tenant, and we have not established anything which is unfamiliar to the Irish people. I deny the statement that we are taking so I much out of the landlord's pocket and putting it into the pocket of some one I else, and in confirmation of the correctness of my denial I need only point to the example of Ulster. By the security afforded under the clause we believe that such a stimulus will be given to the cultivation of land that the profits of agriculture will be augmented, and we also believe that the landlord will share in the augmentation by the increase of price in the selling value of the land, and by the increased rent given by the tenant. I now come to the speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), whoso tone was very different from that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy). My hon. and learned Friend did not attack the principle of this clause, for he had not changed his mind since he supported the second reading of the Bill. He did not object to the imposition of a legislative check upon improper evictions; he only attacked some of the details. He did not for a moment contend, as has suddenly been contended by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), that this is a new principle—a new Bill which has been suddenly sprung upon them. The Amendments of the Government were placed on the Paper on the earliest possible day, and there was nothing sudden or unexpected in their proposal. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond did not attempt to say that any new principle has been introduced by what we nave done. Undoubtedly we have liberalized the clause in favour of the tenant—that is to say, we have secured two things—first, that no disturbed tenant shall lose any part of the value of his improvements by any arbitrary scale; and, secondly, by taking out of its provisions a certain class of improvements originally within it, we have left a larger discretion to the court as to the loss of possession than it had before. The second objection of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) was that we had given up the proposal which would have enabled the landlord, by the mere tender of a lease, to withdraw himself from the provisions of the clause. Now, that was a question of no little difficulty; and, upon full consideration, we certainly came to the conclusion that the tender of a lease, which is very different from a lease actually accepted by the tenant, was not sufficient. We believe it would be beneficial that the landlord should be under the obligation of offering to his tenant so fair and reasonable a lease that the tenant would be induced to accept it; and we believe that in numerous cases, on large farms especially, if the landlord offers a tenant a thirty-one years' lease not hampered by any unreasonable covenants the tenant would be very happy to accept it, thus placing himself in absolute security for thirty-one years. On the other hand, it would have been very possible for a landlord, even with the consent of the court, to force a lease for a thirty-one years' term on his tenant which his tenant would be very unwilling to accept; for the phrase of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) was a very inaccurate one when he talked of the landlord conceding a lease. Under the clause, as it originally stood, a landlord had the power of forcing a thirty-one years' lease on the tenant. That, on consideration, we thought was going too far in the matter. This power of tendering a lease would have been absolutely impossible—out of the question, except under the control and by the intervention of the court. But my hon. and learned Friend complains very much that leases for less than thirty-one years should not exempt a landlord from the operation of this clause. He thought it very hard that leases for seven years should not exempt the landlord from the operation of the clause. But does my hon. and learned Friend consider what a seven years' lease really is? I am constantly struck with the difficulty which even the most enlightened and benevolent Members from England and Scotland find in judging of the state of things in Ireland. They are familiar with a condition of things so entirely different that even with their best efforts they can hardly bring their minds to take in the view of what a seven years' lease would be in Ireland. It is totally different from what it would be in this country. My hon. and learned Friend knows it is different; but he cannot bring his mind into a position to see that an Irish tenant, for whom, in the great majority of cases, a landlord does nothing, might, with a seven years' lease, be not a whit better than with a tenancy from year to year. In Scotland a farmer takes possession of a farm like a gentleman. He has no occasion to lay out capital. He has only to go through a course of intelligent tillage, and if, at the end of his time, he carries away with him the value of his unexhausted oilcake and guano he does very well. In Ireland the case is totally different. But, then, my hon. and learned Friend makes another plea, not in behalf of the landlord, but in behalf of the tenant, and no doubt he makes it with the same sincerity which characterizes all that he says; but when he asks in the name of the tenant whether the protection given by Clause 3 will not do more harm than good, I should like him to ask the Irish tenants themselves such a question. No doubt they wished a more stringent and cast-iron rule to be applied to the relation of landlord and tenant; but if my hon. and learned Friend sees no advantage, but, on the contrary, some danger in the restriction placed on the power of eviction, I cannot conceive a more unfounded alarm than that which is passing through the mind of my hon. and learned Friend. He thinks that the landlord who finds himself subject to this condition for the possible use of his power of eviction will make up for it by increasing the rent. Well, but the higher he raises the rent the more he will have to pay if he uses the power of eviction improperly. But even on the supposition that the tenant will have to pay somewhat more in rent, even if he be subject to an extreme rent, I am quite assured he will be happy to pay it for the security he will enjoy that he will have a full return for any outlay he has made. The problematical danger on that head will not alarm one tenant in a thousand in Ireland. The same considerations apply to the supposed temptation to consolidate farms. Why are farms not consolidated now, when landlords have nothing to pay for it? In future they will find it a most expensive luxury. The proceeding does go on to a certain reasonable degree in the best parts of Ireland; but it causes no discontent. On that head, also, the alarms of my hon. Friend will not be justified by the experience of the tenants of Ireland. It is impossible to deal fairly with this clause, which is the most important clause of the Bill, without going back, I will not say to the first principles of political economy, but to the assumptions and facts upon which the Bill rests. If Ireland were in a' good, or even in a tolerable condition, there would be no need for this Bill at all; the foundation upon which this Bill rests would be cut from under it. But I contend that the means we have taken for putting an end to the state of things which exists, and establishing something better for the future, are the safest that can be found, involving the smallest amount of disturbance in the relations of all parties. In authorizing the interference of law the Government have refrained from doing so further than was absolutely necessary, and they have postponed the period of interference till a dispute shall have actually arisen between the parties; the interference will then occur without destroying any rights of property, or taking away any fair rights of the landlord over his land, or any interest in it which he possesses. What the Bill imposes is a sufficient and salutary check on the use of a dangerous power, which often is exerted rightly and properly, but too often is used wrongly and inequitably. The question all turns upon this—are we satisfied with the past history and the present condition of Ireland? Are we to forget the past and to start upon some theoretical scheme for the future? We start from a condition of things which we maintain not to be good or even tolerable —not to be sound or healthy, but to be unsound and diseased; and what we seek to do is to apply a cure, the most moderate that we can find, to relations that are unsound and diseased. In our opinion no gentler remedy, provided it be efficient, can be found than that which we have laid before the Committee. Other nostrums—I will not call them nostrums, I retract the word—other remedies have been proposed more violent in their nature, but I do not admit them to be more effectual; and these remedies, after the fullest consideration, we have felt it our duty to reject. Those remedies are not confined to the phrases we have heard so much of—fixity of tenure, perpetuity of tenure, valuation of rents, and so forth. Gentlemen of great weight and authority, and with great powers of mind and sincerity, as I know, have put forward other plans, which we also felt bound to decline. There are politicians who conceive themselves to be far more moderate than the advocates of fixity of tenure whose proposals we have felt ourselves unable to adopt. Take, for instance, a favourite remedy with some—the principle of compulsory leases for all Ireland, which has been warmly urged by some friends of mine who think it a moderate measure. In our opinion that would be a cast-iron rule applied to every landlord and tenant in Ireland without discrimination; and it would have carried with it the necessity for a revision of rents all over Ireland, because to impose the present rents, whether high or low, upon all landlords and tenants in Ireland, with a compulsory lease for thirty-one or sixty-one years, would have been a proceeding of the most violent and inequitable kind. On that, as on other matters, we made up our mind to avoid interference by the Legislature until it should become absolutely necessary—to give every inducement to the parties concerned to make up their differences between themselves, and to reserve the State interference—taking care that, when applied, this interference should be effectual for its purpose—for occasions when these differences seemed to be irreconcilable. Of the remedy which we propose this clause is the central and essential part; without it it would not be worth the while of Parliament to pass the Bill. Of all the remedies which have been publicly proposed, it is the most moderate, the gentlest, it interferes least with the relations between, landlord and tenant. Recognizing that fact, and the essential importance of this part of the great measure which is now before them, I trust the Committee will, without hesitation, sanction the clause in the form in which, after the fullest consideration, it has been submitted by the Government.


was one of those who had spoken in the second reading of the Bill, giving to it a most hearty and unhesitating support. The Amendments, however, which had since been made, and the observations by which these were accompanied, had very much diminished his appreciation of the merits of the measure. In its original state, the Bill showed that it had been drawn by a most skilful lawyer; but the Amendments recently introduced all tended in one direction, and all pointed to the same idea—that of pleasing the Irish tenantry, taking no thought at all of the point which he believed to be essential for the regeneration of Ireland, and that was the improvement of its agriculture. As the Government had refused to take any hint, or to receive any counsel whatever from agriculturists sitting on their own side of the House, it was not to be expected that they would heed his remarks. Still, he believed that the effect of the only clause which had as yet been passed, so far from improving Irish farming, would be to wrap up the Irish tenant in the swaddling clothes with which he was now encumbered, and to encircle him with an iron band of rude and unreasonable customs. When, upon a former occasion, he ventured to observe that in the Bill he saw no provision which allowed a lease of thirty-one years to extinguish the Ulster tenant-right, he was told by the Prime Minister that there was a clause to that effect in the Bill. He trusted the Solicitor General for Ireland would point it out. Again, one of the most valuable clauses in the Bill for the future welfare of the Irish farmer was Clause 16; but this had been struck out of the Bill. And in separating compensation for improvements from compensation for eviction, he did not hesitate to say that a principle novel, unnecessary, and revolutionary, had been introduced into the Bill. He had been told that there was one gentleman in the county of Galway who paid £10,000 a year rent, and he had not the least doubt that he was considerably richer than his landlords. He knew several gentlemen in the counties of Meath and Westmeath, all well-to-do graziers, who were paying from £1,000 to £2,000 a year rent. It was said that these men, if they received a notice to quit, could each claim a specified compensation, but that the damage must be proved. That was easy of proof; for a man who farmed land at 30s. an acre which was worth 50s., was obviously injured to a much greater extent by being turned out of his occupation, than a man who paid rack-rent. It had been said by the Prime Minister that there were no poor men in that House—a statement that, for his own part, he hoped his bankers would always be able to endorse—but till the year he entered the House, every sixpence which he possessed was invested in the occupation of land. He believed he might say that, in a singular and peculiar degree, he represented the tenant-farmers of a division of an agricultural county where there were hardly any leases, where the tenants were under a six months' notice to quit, and where, he was sorry to say, there was no compensation at all for unexhausted improvements. Yet the tenant-farmers of that county had come to the deliberate conclusion that the Government, by the introduction of this new principle, were confiscating the rights of the landlords without conferring any equivalent benefit upon the present tenant, and with the certainty of inflicting a very considerable fine upon all the tenants that came after. That was the present conviction of the tenant-farmers of the county which he represented; but he did not assert that they would always remain of the same opinion, when they saw leading statesmen like the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the course of two short years, rise at one side of the House, and assert that Irish tenants ought not to be paid for their improvements which they had made in the soil, and then, when he sat on the Benches opposite, declare that Irish tenants ought to have the power of inflicting a fine of seven years' rent upon their landlords. Now, why should this principle be confined to land, and why should it not extend to houses? A medical man might carry on business in a house, the retention of which was essential to his practice, yet, if he were ejected, notwithstanding the inconvenience which this involved, persons never thought of giving him sixpence. Take the case, again, of a man in a shop, to which by intelligence, industry, and fair dealing, he had attracted a large custom;, if that man were ejected, and could not find another shop at hand, he would he deprived without any compensation of a certain amount of property which he himself had created, because a large; amount of goodwill always clings to an establishment. Then why should they not apply this principle to the cases of mortgagor and mortgagee, of borrower and lender, of employer of labour and employed? Let the Committee take an instance from his own experience. Suppose he had upon his farm a labourer; who had been in his employ 20 years, and during that time had lived in a cheap cottage, and suppose further that for some reason he were to get rid of the labourer, why that would be to the man a greater injury than could possibly be inflicted upon one of the miserable farmers in Ireland to whom reference was being constantly made. Then take the case of the Irish cottiers, a class which would, it was supposed, be created by this Bill. A farmer in his mercy allowed such a man to reclaim a corner of some barren field, and to build a little cabin upon it; but there was no clause in the Bill to protect the cottier, though it was proposed, to protect the farmer, his master. Going further, he would ask why the principle they were discussing should not extend to England as well as to Ireland. They were told it could not, because the competition for the possession of land was so very great in Ireland. But was the competition not great in England also? Let the Committee take an instance. A few years ago an uncle of his own, a farmer, died early one morning, and on his proceeding at once with the intelligence to the agent of the landlord, who lived some fifteen miles away, that gentleman said he knew all about it, as he had already had seventeen applications for the farm. This was a single instance, and if he were a grievance-monger he could add to it a hundred others, including several cases of arbitrary eviction from farms. He admitted that there was a difference between England and Ireland; but was there no State on the Continent of Europe with which the latter country could be compared? In a very large Blue Book issued to hon. Members last week on the land tenures existing in different countries, he found a description of the Belgian system. In Belgium, between the years 1836 and 1844, agrarian outrages of the most violent character were common. Almost identically the same incidents had occurred there as they had seen in Ireland. The only difference was that in Ireland an epidemic seemed to break out every three or four years, whereas in Belgium they had been contented to have one great dose at once. They had had during that time, however, blowing up of mills, incendiarism, outrages, murders, and assassinations. But, since 1850, they had entirely ceased, and now Belgium was farmed by so peaceful and happy a race, that his hon. Friends the Members for Hereford and Banbury thought this country might well follow the example of Belgium. But how had this been brought about? Not by bringing in a Bill to subvert the rights of property, but by adopting towards disturbers of the peace measures so energetic and severe that in the year 1850 they hanged the last man who hired himself out as an agrarian assassin, this man's fee being the small sum of 90f. The Belgian Government did not, as he thought they ought to have done, introduce a proposition to pay the tenant for unexhausted improvements, but we read in the Report that the Government had hitherto abstained, and would in the future abstain— From legislating upon the relations of landlords with their tenants, as to the granting of leases, raising rents, &c., considering that such action would be interfering with the individual rights of property. Her Majesty's Government having issued this Blue Book, he would ask why they could not have emulated Belgium, instead of introducing a measure which would interfere with the rights of property. On his reputation as a practical farmer he would make the statement that to inflict upon the landlord the fine proposed in the compensation clauses of the Bill might for a time infuse a sort of sleepy confidence into the minds of existing tenants; but the effect on the future tenantry of Ireland would be most disastrous, because it would be impossible to injure the landlords without in the end injuring the tenants also. They might mulct a landlord in damages; but they could not restrain him from raising his rents in order to recoup himself for the compensation he had to pay to his outgoing tenants. It would be a sad thing for Irish tenants if the landowners were to be transformed into huckstering traffickers in the soil, and he was sure the tenants would rather continue to rely upon the liberal, just, and Christian principles for which Irish gentlemen had been so justly celebrated. He hoped he should not be misunderstood. He fully agreed with the compensation clauses, and would even go further than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, by awarding compensation to a farmer for the loss he might sustain by forced sales of stock or implements consequent upon hasty or arbitrary eviction; but for goodness' sake let them not compensate him for something he never lost, or compel his landlord to buy from him that which he had no right to sell. Let hon. Members depend upon it that if they did this they would place upon the Irish tenant of the future a burden so heavy and a yoke so intolerable, that he would curse the day on which the Imperial Parliament in its wisdom created for his special benefit this new property in occupation.


said, he was of opinion that the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) had made out an incontestable case against that portion of the Bill which referred to tenants who were in secure possession of their holdings, for the Bill was not intended to protect persons so situated. The Bill was intended to satisfy the great mass of tenants, those who had small holdings and were almost always under six months' notice to quit. The right, hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) had asked whether this measure was consistent with the rights of property? He (Mr. Buxton) was sure that if it was not it would be denounced by every party in the House. Nothing could be more disastrous to this country in the long run than to admit, as one of the maxims by which the policy of the House might be guided, that the rights of property might be invaded whenever it might seem convenient or expedient to ignore them. If this Bill really tended in that direction he should not have supported the second reading; but he could not believe either that the Government would have brought in a Bill embodying such an intention, or that, if they had done so, the House would have supported its second reading by an enormous majority. The Amendment moved by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) indicated clearly that he wholly misunderstood the true grounds by which this measure could be justified, as one that, so far from interfering with the rights of property, really tended to their stricter maintenance. Having studied this subject, he (Mr. Buxton) affirmed that this Bill was, in reality, not an invasion, but a vindication of the rights of property. He did not agree with those who had been arguing in favour of this Bill upon the ground that the House was obliged to step in between the landlord and the tenant in Ireland, and set aside the contracts freely entered into between them, because one of the contracting parties was not well able to look after his own interests. That principle would be fraught with extreme danger. No doubt two or three instances had been mentioned, in which the law had apparently acted on that principle; but if it were deliberately adopted on so vast a scale, as the basis of a great national policy, it might go a long way towards the disintegration of society. It would, at any rate, be a retrogression from the policy by which the Liberal party especially had been actuated during the last thirty years. The only true ground on which the Bill could be justified was, that it was not an interference with freedom of contract, inasmuch as the position of the Irish tenantry—at any rate, of the great mass of them—was not that of men who have entered into any contract at all. He denied that the tenure of land in Ireland, as a general rule, was the tenure of contract; and upon that ground, and that alone, he was persuaded that a measure so stringent and bold as this could possibly be supported. Perhaps those who had not been in the habit of studying these questions might be astonished at the notion that the relation between the landlord and the tenant under him could in any case not be that of two men of business who had entered into a contract—the one bargaining to cultivate the soil and pay a rent to the landlord, the other to allow him to enter upon it in order to do so. The fact, however, was that the tenure of land by contract was a novelty in the world. It was a thing unknown anywhere until the most recent times. Even at the present moment it was utterly unknown in Asia, in most parts of Italy, in Russia, and in many other parts of Europe. Probably in at least two-thirds of the surface of Europe it was unknown. It was unknown wherever aboriginal tribes still occupied the soil. It was, in fact, the invention of an active commercial people, who had imported into their dealings with the soil those methods of business with which they had been made familiar by commerce. And, perhaps, many hon. Members might not be aware, and might hear it with some astonishment, that it was only within the last nine years that the tenure of land in Ireland had been regarded in the eye of the law as being a tenure by contract at all. It was not until 1861 that a law passed through Parliament which abrogated the then existing tenure of land in Ireland, and declared that, henceforth the relation of landlord and tenant should be deemed to be founded on contract, instead of, as formerly, upon tenure or service. Until nine years ago the tenure of land by contract in Ireland was unknown to the law, and the plain truth was that the tenure of land in that country, at least among the smaller holders, had to this day the characteristics of the system which prevailed in all but the most highly civilized and commercial nations of the world. This fact was brought out with extreme force and vividness in a work published at the end of last year by Mr. George Campbell. Having been intimately familiar with the tenure of land in India, that gentleman paid two visits to Ireland, and thoroughly studied the land question there, and he showed, beyond all possibility of question, that there existed to this day in Ireland abundant traces of the same ancient system of tenure, and that, in fact, to this day the Irish tenantry hold their land upon a tenure into which contract between landlord and tenant does not really enter. Mr. Campbell said— The present state of Ireland, her poverty, her agrarian crimes, her chronic discontent, have been in no small degree owing to that idea which lies so deep in the mind of the Irish peasantry, the idea that the tenant is, in truth, joint owner with the landlord; that the two are, in fact, co-partners, and so long as the tenant pays a fair share of the rent to the lord, he has a right to remain on the land. With this idea one of a perfectly distinct character has often been confounded—namely, the idea that the tenant is the true owner of any additions and improvements he may have made at his own cost on the land, and is entitled to be compensated for them when his lease expires. Sir John Davies found exactly the same system existing in Ireland as Lord Corn-wallis long afterwards found in India. It might, perhaps, be replied that whatever the ancient tenure of land might have been among the native Irish, yet, at any rate, since the time of James I. that ancient system had been abrogated, and its place taken by the mercantile tenure of mere contract. This, however, was not the fact. Though the ancient relation of the chief and his people was destroyed, it was not "tenure by contract" that took its place. At that period tenure by contract had made little way oven in England, and the system which James I., or rather his adviser, Lord Bacon, adopted, and which was well worthy of his wisdom, would have put the Irish tenant into a position of I still greater security than that which he I had before enjoyed had it been carried out in its entirety. By degrees the tenant had become a victim to immense; and uncertain exactions from his chieftain. Lord Bacon took precisely that step afterwards taken by Stein and Hardenberg in Prussia, and commuted those exactions on the tenant for an annual quit rent, the tenant holding his land by a free tenure. Most unhappily, this wise policy was soon cast aside, and the precautions for giving the tenant security of tenure dropped out of sight. Mr. V. Seeholm had demonstrated this in a very important article in the Fort-nightly Review. He had shown that while under the feudal system at home and elsewhere the tenant became a copy-holder, liable, indeed, to exactions from the lord, often of a pernicious character, still he was not a tenant-at-will, and in time his copyhold became convertible into freehold. The Irish tenant, on the contrary, was neglected by the law, and though he was under precisely the same manorial system, with every one of its quaint and picturesque features, there was withheld, from him that feudal security of holding which every other feudal peasantry in the world had had conferred upon them by universal usage. Still, the important point to note was that his position had no relation to tenure by mercantile contract; and it was only nine years ago that the law expressly abrogated that manorial system of tenure of land in Ireland, and declared that henceforth the relation of landlord and I tenant should be deemed to be founded on contract, instead of, as formerly, on tenure or service. This change in the law, so revolutionary in its nature, probably attracted little attention at the time, owing to the general ignorance of the subject; but the Lords' Committee of 1868 expressly referred to it in their Report as having "entirely changed the state of the law as to the relation of landlord and tenant." It might, perhaps, seem strange to an English politician to have a practical question of policy mixed up with such antiquarian lore; but the fact was that the Irish question could not be understood unless we mastered the feeling with regard to it of the Irish tenants, and that would be altogether inexplicable but for the light thrown upon it by history. History showed that in former times the occupiers of the soil among the native Irish I were in the position of joint owners with the landlord, and that the change made by their English conquerors was not the immediate substitution of tenure by contract for that ancient joint ownership, but that it was the feudal system which they introduced, under which the tenants would naturally have stood in the secure position of English copyholders; and that only within the last ten years had the law avowedly and in terms introduced tenure by contract. Finding that, could hon. Members be surprised at the passionate vehemence with which the Irish tenantry had unceasingly resisted, as an invasion of their right of property, the claim of the landlord to drive them off the soil they cultivated? All this might seem fanciful to those who had not had occasion to investigate the subject, and yet it could no longer be denied that that was the true interpretation of the great movement that had now attained such formidable proportions in Ireland. Nothing was more difficult than to change the ancient traditional ideas of a nation. Until lately the spirit of the Irish had been so crushed by oppression that the idea of obtaining their rights from those who tyrannized over them had almost vanished out of their minds. In the last forty years, however, commencing with Catholic Emancipation, they had been taught that justice was attainable. It was not wonderful, therefore, that the profound sense of wrong with respect to the position of the occupiers of the soil, which even in the most hopeless periods never ceased to make itself heard, should now find utterance in a manner with which no statesman could venture to trifle. It ought, however, to be clearly understood that hon. Members yielded to this powerful feeling not because they dared not maintain the rights of property against it, but because they admitted that, among the great mass, especially of the poorer Irish tenants, their position on the soil was one derived from ancient times. It was not a relation of contract between them and the landlord; but they possessed certain rights in the soil, which had been transmitted to them from ancient times, and which had never been yet subverted, in spite of the lengthened struggle against them on the part of English settlers supported by English law. The English people were at last discerning and acknowledging this peculiar position, and were determined to accord to the Irish tenants those rights of property which had hitherto been ignored by the law, and which did not exist at the present moment in England, but to which the Irish tenants really had, in justice, an absolute claim.


said, his hon. Friend the Member for East Surrey (Mr. Buxton) had delivered an oration which would have been more appropriate on the second reading of the Bill. His hon. Friend had fallen into the common error of generalizing from a particular instance, and had drawn from his own experiences over a limited area conclusions which were hardly applicable to a country like Ireland, where so many diversities of opinion and of circumstances existed, and where there were great differences between the usages of different estates, and even between different farms on one property. He was aware of the liberal manner in which his hon. Friend treated his Irish tenants; but the course he adopted was not of a kind likely to meet with much favour among the Irish tenantry, for it resulted in the clearance of a considerable extent of land, the safe deportation of the occupiers to America, and the subsequent letting of the property to an intelligent Scotch agriculturist. This mode of dealing with the soil of Ireland was creditable to the kindliness and liberality of his hon. Friend; but he erred if he thought by that means to alleviate the pressure of the Irish difficulty. He agreed with the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) that the Government had changed its front in deference to the opposition from below the Gangway. He had heartily supported the second reading of the Bill, because he felt the Irish tenant was placed at a disadvantage as compared with the English and Scotch tenants, and deserved, on all possible grounds of justice and policy, to be placed on an equality with them. He therefore desired to secure to him compensation for unexhausted improvements, which had always been accorded to an outgoing tenant by everyone deserving the name of a good landlord. He was prepared to go further, and secure to the tenant compensation for any actual loss he might have sustained, and especially for all loss from insufficiency of notice prior to his removal; but there he was compelled to stop. He was aware the Government might might say their Bill, as originally introduced, meant something more; but that something more was so wrapped up in a clause which it was not very easy at once to dissect, that he was prepared to accept it without scrutinizing very nar-nowly what its precise contents might be. All that was now changed. Eight of occupancy had been distinctly avowed, and that avowal had changed a mere Irish provincial question into one of Imperial policy. What differences existed between the Irish and the English tenant which were not met by the concession of claims for unexhausted improvements? He believed the alleged excessive competition for land in Ireland was a mistake. His hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. C. S. Read), whose competency as a judge of such matters no one would doubt, had dealt with that point; and his ownlimited experience confirmed the view he took. In some parts of Somersetshire the competition for dairy land among small farmers was quite as keen as in any part of Ireland. He also believed it to be quite a mistaken notion that the Irish tenant was always, or even usually, the injured innocent he was represented to be. In his dealings with him—happily of a most amicable kind—he had found him by no means prone to take an unfair advantage, but still sharp and keen-witted, and as good a hand at driving a close bargain as the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. Beyond all question, too, the Irish farmer thoroughly understood the nature and value of land; he was often a bettor judge than the landlord or agent in this respect, and would get a living off land on which an English or Scotch farmer would starve. It was very dubious, under those circumstances—the tenant having taken the land fully knowing its value, and accurately appreciating what he could make out of it—whether he should be placed on a different footing as regards contracts from that occupied I by the Scotch and English tenant. It had been argued that the Irish tenant had something to dispose of which the English tenant had not. That had been alluded to by the right hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. Gathorne Hardy), and the hon. Member for South Norfolk. No doubt, in a large number of instances, through the poverty of the smaller class of tenants, and, he hoped, from a real appreciation on the part of the landlords of their duties, sums of money had been given to tenants who had been removed from their holdings. But there was another modification of the value of property in which good feeling and good nature had had no part, but in which fear had been the main element. The sums which in these cases had been levied by the tenant for giving another possession of his holding had been nothing more or less than blackmail. The amount of that blackmail had been regulated by the nerve or necessities of the landlord, by the courage with which he was likely to resist any unjust demands made upon him, or by his ability to encounter the costs of a lawsuit. It was remarkable that in hardly any instance where the tenant was a man of substance and a fair mark for costs, had that sum been either asked for or paid. He left it to the Committee to say whether it was desirable such a demand as that should be clothed with all the dignity and force of law, and whether the Irish tenant for these reasons should be placed in a better position than the farmers of England or Scotland. He warned them that though they might begin here they would not end here. There were districts in England where these debates wee road by the tenant-farmers with the greatest possible interest, and where the rights of occupancy were as keenly discussed, and as warmly asserted, as in any Farmers' Club in Ireland. Who could wonder at it? There was no ground upon which this new right could be withheld from the English tenant if it were given to the Irish. In many instances the English and Scotch farmer had done far more to the land than any Irish tenant had it in his power to do; and for this reason they could with full justice claim the right of occupancy if such a right were given to the Irish. There was another objection, which being of a practical nature, commended itself to the special attention of the Government. In the immediate neighbourhood of small towns, of which so many as twenty might be found in one county alone, there were accommodation or town parks of not more than three to four acres. They were let to traders in those towns, and the tenants were supposed thoroughly to understand their own interests. As the town rose in importance, and its population increased, the land in its immediate neighbourhood became more valuable; and he asked the Committee to consider whether it would be reasonable for a tenant on these small farms, when the landlord proposed to increase the rent, to say to the landlord—"You shall not raise my rent, and I will not go unless you are prepared to pay to me seven years' valuation of the land?" The application of such a principle would stop the progress of those small towns altogether. Other difficulties would suggest themselves to the Committee; but the greatest of all was that alluded to by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer)—namely, the sort of relations which would spring up between landlord and tenant, if they were to be incessantly dealing with each other at arm's length. He believed it might be laid down that there was no legislative enactment intended to interfere with the ordinary dealings of a people among themselves which was not, by some ingenuity of the lawyers, made of none effect. It was so with the severity of the old feudal laws, which were mitigated by the doctrine of trusts; it was so with the worst provisions of the Penal Laws, which the good sense and good feeling of the community found a way to evade; and he believed it would be so with this Bill if it passed in the form in which it was now presented to the Committee. He entirely agreed in the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond how that it would be possible under this Bill for a landlord to exact the highest possible rent from his tenant, and to deprive him of every benefit it was supposed he would obtain under it. If this clause were amended in the way now proposed by the Government, it would operate so as to embitter the relations that now existed between landlord and tenant in Ireland, and would drive down to one dull level of the least-cared-for and worst-managed estates those properties that had had the good fortune hitherto to be held under kind and indulgent landlords.


said, he felt certain that the Government had, in introducing the measure now before the Committee, intended that it should be a just and conciliatory one; yet he always had been, and still was, of opinion that no satisfactory result could accrue from the passing of this measure; and had he had the good fortune to catch Mr. Speaker's eye in the course of the debate upon its second reading, he should have explained his reasons for entertaining such a belief. The reasons, however, which he should then have ventured to offer were not those which at present he would offer to the House. Since the second reading a Blue Book had been presented to the House, furnished in obedience to the requisition of the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in which he had invited our Diplomatic Agents at every Court and Government to not alone furnish all particulars connected with the agriculture, with the land tenure, and social condition of the people amongst whom they might happen to be resident, but also asked to be furnished with not only the opinion of the leading foreigners in their district, but also with their own personal opinions upon all matters which might, in the course of their researches, come under their own observation, so far as related to the proposed legislation on Ireland. The result of these inquiries were embodied in the Blue Book which he had beside him, a work characterized by the greatest ability, evidencing much painful research, and, from the circumstance of the writers being gentlemen generally of aristocratic connections, could not be regarded by Gentlemen opposite as other than strictly impartial. The hon. Gentleman the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. C S. Read) was the only Member who referred to it in the course of the debate; but that hon. Gentleman had confined his observations to the Report upon Belgium, and in doing so, whilst stating that the outrages in that country had been confined to a short period—in which he was in error, for they had existed from the time of the Emperor Charles V.—had omitted to mention that they were confined to one district—if he recollected aright, the Pays de Waes—and arose out of the nonpayment of money by the incoming to the outgoing tenant; but he had likewise omitted to say how different were the relations of landlord and tenant in Belgium from those in Ireland. In the former country there were existing a large number of peasant proprietors, who likewise had manufactures to fall back upon. It was idle for the hon. Gentleman to put himself forward as a tenant-farmer, and to contrast his condition with that of the impoverished Irish tenant—he, who was a Member of that House, who was quite independent of agriculture, and who, by education and social position, could, if he chose, turn to many other industries. Again, he asked, what was the difference between the tenure of a house or a shop and land? He had not read the able and exhaustive Report of Mr. Gastrell in the Blue Book, who answered his question, when he said—"Man might build a house, but could not create land." Again, the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Brodrick) had asked, was there not competition for land in England? He (Sir Patrick O'Brien) was not prepared to dispute that position; but he would ask the hon. Member, was not the competition in the one case for a convenience, in the other for an absolute necessity? He was not going to discuss the question from what are called Irish ideas, nor from a review of the conditions, social and otherwise, in England or Ireland. He would venture to appeal to European opinion, as furnished by the Reports in the Blue Book, and he feared, that the opinion in Ireland, already adverse to the Bill, would be increased when those Reports would be—as they would be—road in Ireland. He would first shortly refer to France, a country pre-eminent in European civilization. No doubt it might be said that that was not a fair reference, as the state of affairs there had been brought about by a bloody revolution. Well, he was prepared to admit the force of that objection, and he would content himself by reading one passage of Mr. West's Report, in which, without referring to causes, he epitomized results. Mr. West said— The small proprietor has reconstituted the economy of the nation, and more than doubled the produce of the soil. In Wurtemberg, in Baden, and in most European countries, the Reports affirmed that the system of small proprietors had increased immensely the productiveness of the soil, had produced contentment; and the reply to the query as to the relations between landlord and tenant socially were nearly unanimously that they were on the best terms one with the other. In Portugal a system of tenure, known also elsewhere, was stated by Mr. Doria to most extensively prevail, designated by the Greek term emphyteusis, which conferred perpetuity of tenure at fixed rents. This system pervaded nearly all Northern Portugal and the Province of Alemtejo, and its provisions were supplemented by the energy of a man well known to all acquainted with foreign polities—the Marquis Pombal. The contrast of emphyteusis was said to arise whenever the owner of any real property transfers the dominium utile of such property to another person who binds himself to pay the owner a certain fixed rent, called "foro" or "canon," and in that case the rent is fixed and the tenant irremovable. He mentioned those matters to show that abroad what were called the rights of property were already more overridden than was ever attempted by Irish agitators. In this hurried and cursory review which he had taken of the contents of the Reports, he now came to Prussia—a country which all would admit was feudal of the feudal, and where the tenant was regarded as little more than a serf. What was effected in France by a revolution a disastrous battle did for Prussia, Jena emancipated the Prussian peasant. After that battle, in 1807, Stein promulgated an edict, supplemented in 1811 by Hardenberg, which changed the whole framework of Prussian land tenure. The landlord was given a third of the land where the possession was hereditary—one-half where it was not; but it was subsequently enacted that the tenant could acquire either the third or the half, as the case might be, by either paying a capital sum or by paying a yearly rent-charge, and the Government, to enable the occupier to carry out this provision, even instituted rent-charge banks to enable him to do so. Who will talk now of interference with the rights of property, when this thing has been done in absolute and feudal Prussia? But what has been the result? There reigns contentment throughout that kingdom, and that the peasant feels equal interest in its greatness with the king was well evidenced by the soldiery who conquered at Sadowa. Hon. Members had asked whether, in the event of this Bill being carried with reference to Ireland, a similar measure would not be proposed for England; but the fact was that the two countries stood upon a totally different footing with reference to this question, owing to the many commercial avocations open to the inhabitants of this country—none of which existed in Ireland. He had been informed that many of the manufactures that were at one time specialities of this country were being exercised on the Continent; and the time, therefore, might come when this country might find herself reduced to the same position in which Ireland now was, and then it might, indeed, be necessary to pass a law for England similar to that they now had under consideration for Ireland. He was free to confess that the measure they were then considering would have been esteemed as a boon some ten years ago; but he regretted to say it was not so then, and he warned hon. Gentlemen opposite, and noble Lords in "another place," of the danger of mutilating what in Ireland were considered its inadequate provisions. When the Bill was first introduced, he had written over to say that there was much good in the Bill; but the majority of his constituents were not prepared to accept it. For his own part, everything he had in the world was derived from land; but he desired that the tenant should obtain full security. He felt that hon. Members from Ireland who sat on the opposite Benches were equally interested with himself in having peace and contentment in Ireland. He appealed to them to be contented with receiving fair rents, punctually paid, and to waive mere fanciful considerations of territorial dominion in the interest of peace and tranquillity in Ireland.


said, he could not support the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), for he considered that having not only voted for the second reading of this Bill, but having openly accepted the principle that a deterrent penalty should be imposed upon capricious evictions, by giving a tenant a right with certain provisoes to claim compensation for disturbance, he could not now stultify himself by supporting an Amendment which directly negatived that principle. But he was bound to say that Her Majesty's Government had sorely tested his consistency. As the clause now stood un-amended it was unjustly harsh, the scale of compensation unwarrantably high; but when he looked at the Amendments placed upon the Table by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, he found that he proposed to make it harsher still. The simple plea of protection to the tenant would seem to be abandoned, and that of hostility and injustice to the landlord openly avowed. If this was the sort of spirit in which the Government were going to deal with this Land Bill in Committee, he would, he thought, not only be warranted in supporting the Amendment now before them, but of using every means in his power directly, and indirectly, to defeat the measure. However, dim as it might seem, he would still cling to the hope that the Government wished to do justice between man and man; that they, and the great party opposite by whom they were supported, would still apply to the details of this measure the tests of equity and reason. He hoped the Prime Minister would acknowledge the justice of not extending the principle of compensation to tenants paying £100 a year rent. Tenants of holdings of that value were quite as capable of making their own bargains as English or Scotch tenants. The injustice was much increased by including the tenants of large grazing farms like those of Meath, where some men paid £5,000 a year rent. Although the pending division on this question involved his desertion of those ranks to which he was proud to belong, he could not go with them in supporting an Amendment negativing a principle which he had already adopted.


said, that the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) had described the clause under discussion as being illusory because it would enable a landlord to levy increased rents from his tenants. With that assertion he was unable to agree. Such might be the ultimate result; but for the present he believed that the clause would prevent the landlord from increasing his rent, because every tenancy from year to year was a bargain which, wild not be varied by one party alone, and no landlord would be able to raise his rent, however moderate, without putting an end to the tenancy, running the gauntlet of the 3rd clause, and paying such compensation as the Court might think tit to award. Under these circumstances, therefore, he could not regard the clause as being illusory in this respect. But he thought the clause delusive in another and a larger sense. He regarded the clause not as aimed at improvements at all—that was mere garniture to cloak its real object, which was to give security to the 526,000 and odd tenants-at-will out of 682,000 agricultural tenants holding less than thirty acres in Ireland. The great evil connected with the tenure of land in Ireland was the insecurity of that large number of holdings, and if the clause did not secure those tenants it was delusive. He could not persuade himself that the clause would be an effective protection to that large number of poor tenants-at-will who had made no improvements. It involved a contradiction in terms. The Bill did not do away with the right to evict, neither did it create any right of occupation; but, nevertheless, it said the tenant should be entitled to such compensation from his landlord for the loss he sustained by quitting his holding as the Court deemed just. If the clause were administered, he would not say by a lawyer, but by a logical person, when the tenant came before him he would ask him what loss he had sustained by quitting his holding, and would say to him—"You have no right of occupation given you by the Bill; how am I to award you any money because you are unable to keep that which you have no right to keep?" Compensation or damages implied the loss of the money value of some right of which a man had been deprived; and, in common sense and logic, there could be no compensation when a man had no right taken from him. The only compensation that could and ought to be given to the tenant would be some such compensation as that indicated by the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire for the only loss that could be legitimately proved—namely, loss of the profits of a course of husbandry in which he had engaged with his landlord's knowledge, and to which he had an equitable, if not a legal right; or the expenses of removing from his holding. But while if the clause were properly administered, the tenant would get nothing more than this, there was, on the other hand, the chance of its being loosely administered, and of the tribunal entering into some such considerations as those laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to which he had listened with great alarm. In that event the clause would undoubtedly be unjust in its application. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told them there were moral obligations attached to the exercise of the legal right of eviction and of giving notice to quit. Unquestionably that was true. A landlord might exercise his right so harshly and inequitably, so repugnantly to the common feeling of the country in which he lived, that most men disapproved his conduct, and by that clause they were going to punish him for that disregard of a moral obligation. It was to be hoped that Judges of extraordinary wisdom and acuteness would be appointed to estimate such vague and indefinite considerations as those, otherwise their decisions must inevitably be attended with the greatest injustice, uncertainty, and caprice. The tenant would never know what amount of compensation he might reckon upon recovering. It used to be said that the conscience of the Chancellor varied like the length of the Chancellor's foot. In like manner the sums given to tenants for compensation, would vary upon no intelligible principle, according to the temper of the Judge. But the right hon. Gentleman at the head, of the Government, in his speech on the second reading of the Bill, suggested another kind of loss for which the tenant might claim on quitting his holding, that he might say that his rent had been low; to which the landlord would be entitled to answer that, under the circumstances, it was reasonable that the tenant should pay a fair and not a low rent. How was that to be reconciled with the proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that a fair rent was a matter to be shut out from the consideration of the Court? The moment they departed from the safe rule that a man was to get compensation or damages only for the deprivation of a right, there was no limit at which they could stop; there was no reason why the tenant should not make a claim for the maintenance of himself and family, or for interest upon his capital till he got a fresh holding, however long that might happen to be. If they once gave to his loss any meaning beyond the money value of some right of which the tenant was deprived, they would be thrown upon a sea of uncertainty in which the tenant might claim to be paid for what was not his, and the landlord might be called on to pay for that which was his own. Another objection to the clause was that it was not what the Irish tenants had ever asked for. The attempt to give the tenant security by the machinery of a compensation clause was a compromise which had never been heartily accepted by the Irish people or their advocates. It was invented in 1851 to ensure the alliance of Mr. Sharman Crawford and the Irish Tenant League. From the first that compromise was repudiated by those who spoke the wishes of the Irish tenants, and from the moment they adopted the notion of compensation they ceased to get farmers to attend tenant-right meetings. The tenants did not want to be dispossessed first and then allowed to sue for damages of an uncertain amount. They did not want a capricious and illogical penalty for capricious evictions. They wanted to have it simply declared that they should not be evicted except for non-payment of rent, waste, subdivision, and matters of that kind, and the organs of the tenant party repudiated the proposals contained in that Bill. He believed Irish landlords were willing to go great lengths in giving security to the tenant—to make large concessions in order to meet demands satisfactory to the tenants themselves, and consistent with justice and propriety; but this clause was not what the tenants wanted, and he believed it would not be satisfactory to either party.


said, he agreed with those who thought the Committee had now got to the most important part of the whole Bill; but he did not concur with the hon. and learned Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Matthews) in thinking that this 3rd clause was an illusory provision. He held that hon. Members would be doing the most serious injury to Ireland if they voted against it. He believed that exceptional legislation was required in respect of the holding of land in Ireland. In former times, the trade of that country had been destroyed by our Legislature, and the consequence had been that a very much larger number of the people of that country were thrown upon the land for their support than would otherwise have been obliged to get their subsistence in that way. At the present time there were 500,000 holdings of an annual value under £15. He was, therefore, in favour of the clause as the Government proposed to frame it, for the purpose of giving security of tenure; but he thought its application ought to be limited to small holdings under £50 a year. The Government must either have adopted the plan laid down in this clause, or the alternative of transferring the property in the soil from the landlords to the tenants. They had acted rightly in giving the tenant compensation if he was wrongly and capriciously evicted. He therefore thought the measure was a statesmanlike one; and, considering the clause in all its bearings, he should give his support to the Government.


said, the Committee had to choose whether they would accept the clause without any amendment, or adopt the Amendment of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, or the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). He said, unhesitatingly, that he preferred the last of those three courses in preference to either of the two other alternatives. He believed every Irish Member would agree with him that it was desirable to give the Irish tenants security of tenure. That security he was most anxious to obtain for them. It was his pride, and it ever had been his object, to have his land occupied by successive generations of tenants—that the son should succeed his father in the occupation of the same farm—the same home. He wanted to see throughout Ireland the same custom in that respect as existed in this country; but he did not think that security for the Irish tenant could be secured by such a penal enactment as was proposed by this clause. He believed it could be accomplished only by mutual confidence and good-will and good offices mutually performed between landlord and tenant. Of course, it might be proposed to give the tenants absolute possession of the soil by Act of Parliament; but to such a measure as that the House of Commons never would give its assent, and short of that, no legislative measure of tenant-right would be effective in giving security of tenure to the tenants. It was, therefore, he said, that to mutual confidence and good-will between landlord and tenant must they look for the establishment of that security which he hoped all landlords would be glad to see the Irish tenants enjoy.


said, he regarded this as the most important question they would have to discuss during the progress of this Bill through Committee, and therefore, as an Irish representative, anxious to have this measure carried, he was most desirous that nothing should be done to curtail the provisions which had been submitted to the Parliament and the country. Let the Committee consider its position at this moment. On the last night they had done everything in their power to satisfy the North of Ireland, and unhappily an idea prevailed in the other parts of the country that the Government desired to do something for the North which they would not do for the South of Ireland. If, therefore, the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) were carried, the belief in the minds of the people of the other three Provinces that Parliament was about to legislate unfavourably for them and favourably for Ulster, would receive a thorough confirmation. For the farmers of the North they had not only legalized tenant-right, but had also given them an option either of claiming that right or of coming under the protective provisions of the Bill. He was one of the first who had expressed his intention of giving a cordial support to the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. W. Johnston)—than whom no one was more competent to speak with authority on behalf of the tenant-farmers of the North. But what was the position of the great mass of the farmers of the South? He would not exaggerate, but it was one he would not say of serfdom but of simple dependence on the will, the power, the caprice of the proprietors of the soil. The great object to be kept in view was, to give these men a sense of security. The hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. C. S. Read) had said that if the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman did not supersede the provision proposed by the Government, the tenants in question would have a lazy sense of security. No; but they would have an active sense of security, which would develop their faculties and change the whole face of the country. It was because he; believed that would be the result that he supported the clause of the Government; but if the right hon. Gentleman; the Leader of the Opposition, acting on I the prejudices—he did not mean it in an offensive sense—of his followers, and also upon the narrow feeling of some hon. Gentlemen representing Scotland I should succeed in cutting out this provision the effect would be most disastrous. He wished to say a word on this subject to hon. Members from Scotland, with whom he was proud on all questions of general policy to act. Some of these hon. Gentlemen, judging from the cheers they indulged in several times while the right hon. Gentleman was speaking, were likely to support him because the Government proposed a remedy for a state of things existing in Ireland a parallel to which, did not exist in Scotland or England. But he wished to warn his hon. Friends against the impolicy of confounding two states of things diametrically opposed, and of attempting to legislate upon a narrow view—he said it respectfully—derived from their Scotch notions. But the great body of the Irish Members and the Government, acting under a great responsibility, told them that these ideas could not fairly be applied to Ireland. Let the Committee consider that this Bill was not so popular in Ireland as he verily believed it ought to be. He did not himself approve every clause of the Bill; but the great body of it was good, and many of its provisions were admirable. On very many large properties in Ireland, and on some small ones, the system carried out was one of protection which gave perfect security to the te- nant; and it was because the same system was not adopted by all Irish, proprietors, and a large number of tenants were placed in a precarious position, that the Government had introduced this measure. What would be the consequences if this Amendment was carried? The Bill would be virtually destroyed, and the responsibility would rest with the House of Commons. A belief would be created in every man's heart in Ireland that the House of Commons would not or could not legislate fairly for Ireland, and a more dangerous conviction could not enter into the minds of the people. There was a hope dawning in Ireland. Let them not shake that hope for any party purpose. If they were not prepared to legislate in a broad and generous spirit let them stop the Bill at once, let them wait for another winter and for the commencement of another Session, and see what would be the result of long delay and bitter disappointment. To compare the poor people paying their £30 or £40 a year rent, whom this Bill was intended to protect, with great Norfolk farmers or with shopkeepers carrying on a great trade was an outrage upon common sense. The shopkeeper would not embark his capital unless he had a lease. ["No, no!"] A Cork or Dublin shopkeeper would not, and if a Londoner would he was a greater fool than he believed him to be. He held this to be the best portion of the Bill; it was protective of the landlord and protective of the tenant, because the tribunal would be bound to take everything into consideration, and to do justice between man and man. If the Bill should be carried uncurtailed, his solemn belief was that it would do great good to Ireland; but if cut down and crippled, in God's name let the Government at once abandon it, for if sent to Ireland it would prove a curse, not a blessing.


said, that as the hon. Gentleman who had preceded him had said that the Committee ought to accept the Bill unaltered, he (Mr. Goldney) must observe that what hon. Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House complained of was that it had been materially altered since it had been introduced, and that it now proposed to initiate, for the first time, in this country the doctrine that simple occupation was to be regarded as property. The granting of leases would, he believed, be a great benefit to the Irish tenant; but if the Bill were to pass in its present shape it would operate as a perpetual bar to the granting of leases.


Sir, I will endeavour to go through as succinctly as I can the various points of importance which have been raised in the course of this discussion. I would, in the first place, however, clear the ground, and let it be plainly understood, at least, so far as depends upon me, what is the question upon which we are about to-night to vote; because a very considerable portion of the debate, and, above all a very large portion of the important speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) turned upon matters wholly extraneous to the point now at issue, although, in saying so, I admit that there is such an interlacing of provisions on this subject as to render it no matter of surprise that other questions besides that directly at issue should be brought under our view. We are discussing on this occasion the basis of computation of the compensation which is to be made to the tenant in the event of causeless or arbitrary eviction by the landlord. That I believe to be the strict and absolute definition of the whole matter at issue to-night. We are not now discussing the scale of the compensation to be given. We may raise it to ten years' rental, as has been suggested by an hon. Friend of mine on this side of the House (Mr. Synan), or, following the advice of a right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) reduce it to five or any other figure, in perfect consistency with the view which the Government will press upon the Committee to-night. I will only say, with respect to the scale, that the extreme complication of the subjects with which I had to deal in introducing the Bill caused me to dwell much more briefly than perhaps I ought to have done on many points in the statement which I then made. And it is undoubtedly my fault that a certain amount of misapprehension has prevailed with regard to the ground on which the claim to compensation would in our view be dealt with by the Judges who are to be constituted by this Bill. I never intended to say that upon the landlord alone would be imposed the burden of proof. I did mean to state this, that, in my opinion, Parliament, by the figures which it may insert in the scale, will convey to the Judges its own general idea of the sort of loss which, under the present circumstances of Ireland, a causeless eviction may inflict. But certainly it ought to be incumbent on the tenant—and if the Bill is obscure on this point it ought to be made clear—to show that his case comes within the class of cases contemplated by Parliament, and that his eviction was causeless. To discuss the scale of compensation would, however, only tend to complicate the issue with which we now have to deal. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond said much of the leasing powers which were originally in the Bill—which, in fact, are now in the Bill—but which we propose to dispense with for reasons which I shall state fully when we come to that particular clause. I think I shall be able to show my hon. and learned Friend that he has very greatly overrated the importance of the 16th clause, but I shall not dwell on that point now. In dealing with this Bill, and in inquiring what Amendments ought to be introduced into it, we have not asked ourselves in the first instance whether this or that Amendment might chance to tell in favour of the landlord or of the tenant, but whether it was on the whole calculated to improve the fabric of the measure. When my hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland, for example, gave notice that we proposed to strike out that provision which imposes the county cess in the case of holdings under £4 value on the landlord, he did so not because the tendency of the change was directly in the interest of the landlord. In the same way it was thought by us that the operation of this leasing power would operate offensively in a far higher degree than it would confer a benefit, in the case of those for whose advantage it was especially intended; and we have, in consequence, been induced to make a different proposal to the House. That proposal, as has been stated to the Committee by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is one which appears to us entirely unexceptionable. It says, that if it be desired to get rid of damages for eviction, the landlord may give his tenant the power of disposing of his interest; and, if the Court is satisfied that that offer meets the circumstances of the case, it shall stand in lieu of damages for eviction. This, however, is not the moment at which such a matter ought to be considered. Another point which is not strictly relevant to the present discussion, but which has been referred to by more than one speaker, is the question of existing leases, which have been carefully excluded so far as relates to the claim for damages for eviction. Lastly, with respect to free contracts, let it not be supposed by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond, or any other hon. Gentleman, that we have not felt the difficulty of that question as much as anyone else. There is nothing in our opinions or general action which should tend to make us dead to the advantages of free contract wherever it can be had. But it is a hard, invincible conviction, which has been forced upon us, that the simple admission of free contract would be the destruction of this portion of the Bill, that has led us to insert this provision. We are, of course, desirous of limiting it within the narrowest bounds. The precise figure at which free contract should come in to exempt a party from the compulsory provisions of the clause cannot be treated as a question of principle in the same way as the main provision of the clause itself. I do not say that you can make a fundamental alteration as to the line to be drawn; but the precise figure which should be fixed upon is a matter on which we are quite open to whatever conviction an enlarged and impartial discussion may bring home to our minds. There is, I may add, another provison—a very simple one—which we intend to lay before the Committee, which I will now read to them, and which, I think, is at once more important—though not immediately operative—and more innocent, than any other mode in which we can approach the subject of free contract so as to show our preference for it. In dealing with this Bill, we consider very much that which arises from our conception of it, and in our view it is a measure which is wholly and absolutely exceptional. One of our grounds for objecting to the Motion is, that it destroys this exceptional character of the Bill, and prepares the ground straight ahead for its introduction into England and Scotland. Now, we look upon it as an exceptional Irish measure. Nay, more, we hope the time may come when the provisions of this Bill may no longer be necessary in Ireland. Then, perhaps, you will say—"Why not make the Bill a temporary one?" ["Hear!"] Well, we have endeavoured to give to that subject an impartial consideration. There is a very great difficulty in making the Bill a temporary Bill, upon a ground which every Member conversant with its provisions will at once appreciate—namely, the longevity (if I may use the word) of many of the interests which will be created under it. What we believe is, that if the time ever comes—and I trust it may come—when it will be possible and desirable for Ireland to work its way out of many of the peculiarities which we are compelled to ask Parliament to enact in its present circumstances, the best way of doing that will be by the re-introduction of the principle of free contract; because, whatever complications may arise from a system which we look upon as artificial, freedom of contract between the parties will be the simplest, the best, and even the quickest way of disposing of them, when once you have restored those parties to a position in which they can meet upon equal terms. What we should propose is this—undoubtedly not that this provision as to free contract shall last for a certain number of years and then terminate, because that would be a very hasty and precipitate mode of proceeding. We cannot venture to say that twenty, or thirty, or any given number of years, will be sufficient; but there is a method which has been adopted by Parliament, I believe, in several instances, and certainly in one great instance, that of the Bank Charter Act. There the mode adopted by Parliament to mark that the engagement is terminable and rests upon conventional grounds is this—It is appointed to endure for a certain number of years, and thereafter until Parliament shall otherwise determine. By words of that kind Parliament marks its opinion that the principle of the provision made is not of an immutable and permanent character, and yet, at the same time, it does not prematurely venture to anticipate a given moment which experience does not warrant our endeavouring at this time to fix, and at which we can now say it will be possible for Parliament to dispense with such legislation. The words we propose to adopt are these—"This provision—namely, a provision which restrains freedom of contract— Shall remain in force for twenty years, from the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, and thereafter until Parliament shall otherwise determine. I now come to the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and my first observation respecting it is that one-half of his speech was retrospective, and was devoted to setting out the limitations which the Government had made in the Bill. It was given to be understood, if, indeed, it was not expressly stated, that these limitations had induced the right hon. Gentleman to depart reluctantly from the friendly attitude he had originally assumed, and appear at length as an opponent of important provisions in the Bill. Now, it has been shown how little the right hon. Gentleman deserves the reproach he has bestowed upon himself of having been too credulous as to the assurances of the Government; because, when he delivered his speech tonight, he entirely forgot the definition he gave of his support on the second reading, when he carefully limited it to the title of the Bill, and the assertion of the proposition that it was expedient to deal with the law relating to landlord and tenant in Ireland. Be that as it may, his Motion is not directed to any alteration made in the Bill by the Government, but is aimed at the Bill as it stood. If the right hon. Gentleman means to speak again, he will not contradict me when I say that his Motion is aimed at the Bill which he said he was prepared to support. That is an important fact to be remembered. ["No!"] Why then that half-hour upon the transformation of the Bill by the Government? Surely the right hon. Gentleman might have waited for the transformation before addressing such an argument to the Committee. The Motion is, I repeat, really aimed at the Bill as it stood, and at one of the main pillars of the Bill. About that let there be no mistake. One of the grand provisions of the Bill was the confirmation of Irish customs. Another grand provision was the assertion of the principle that improvements made by the tenant were the property of the tenant. And a third principle of the Bill, which was by far the most prominent in the lengthened statement it was my duty to inflict upon the House, was that damages for evic- tions were to be paid to the tenant. It is against that principle outright that the right hon. Gentleman has moved his Amendment. He has not asked the question where we give too much or too little damages; it is against the whole principle of damages for eviction that the right hon. Gentleman has directed his Amendment. What is a Bill for the settlement of the Irish land question divested of provisions for the payment of damages on eviction? We have heard the right hon. Gentleman's idea of the Bill; and I must say that those who, sitting on this side of the House, have listened to some of the speeches made opposite—in which I do not include the speech of the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Kavanagh), who, though he severely censured the Government, yet has manfully stood to the spirit of the declaration he made originally—and whoever compares these speeches, directed against all recognition of any special or peculiar claim on the part of the Irish tenant, with some of the speeches we have heard from below the Gangway, which are a faint, and only a faint, reflex of deep and widespread popular conviction in Ireland, will have some sympathy for the position of the Government, and some sense of the sort of task they have undertaken in the endeavour to bring together views so discordant as the impressions produced on the one side in the Irish mind by our own bad legislation and our own neglect of duty; and, on the other side, the pure ideas of property as they are conceived in the minds of men of property, who make not the least endeavour to learn and appreciate the point of view from which these subjects are regarded by the rest of the kingdom? What is the principle the right hon. Gentleman sets up against us? It is the principle that we are to give compensation for improvements. That, he says, is all that justice in the present circumstances of Ireland can require. Bad as the principle of the right hon. Gentleman is, he does not even give full effect to it. It is true he makes a nominal addition as to the damage accruing from the interruption of a due course of husbandry. What is the value of that? The Chancellor of the Exchequer has shown that, with respect to the great bulk of the smaller tenants, there is nothing that can be called a due course of husbandry; the nature of their holdings does not admit of it. What is the nature of the claim—for the right hon. Gentleman did not in the least explain it—arising to the tenant out of the interruption of a due course of husbandry? In the small holdings there is nothing that can be called so. In the larger holdings what does it mean? The right hon. Gentleman argued as though the rotation of crops was uniform over a large farm, that one year it would be all in grass, another year all in oats, and another year all in turnips. ["Oh!"] Really hon. Gentlemen only show how needful it is that their attention should be directed to the subject. Unless this is so, what is the claim for compensation on the ground of interruption? But the fact is, that the farm is commonly divided in a due course of husbandry, and there can be, therefore, no special claim on the ground of interruption. And what is the value of this compensation? Take a farm of £50 rental. The right hon. Gentleman proposes that two years' rent shall be all the compensation required, including the due course of husbandry. Then I come to this further fallacy in his speech and his proposal. Having cut down the principle of compensation to simple compensation for improvements, he then goes on to abandon his own principle, which, he says, justice requires us to adopt, and he subjects the application of it to the law of a maximum. Now, if the Irish tenant is to be compensated for his improvement, why is his compensation put under the limit of a scale, and why is a man paying £150 rent, who has made judicious improvements at a cost of £500, to receive as compensation only one year's rent? In my opinion his proposition is inconsistent with itself, and is inconsistent with his own speech. But if it were consistent, do not let us disguise the fact that our contention is entirely opposed to it; and I do hope that every Gentleman who sits in this House will embrace clearly in his mind the nature of the opposition. The right hon. Gentleman, favourable as were his first declarations upon the introduction of the Bill, and even to some extent upon the second reading, as long as he dwelt on generalities, now undoubtedly seeks to break down one of the three great pillars of the Bill, without which it must be a miserable ruin. We contend that the Irish occupier, when causelessly evicted by his landlord, is entitled to requital for his loss. Gentlemen opposite cannot understand what the loss of the occupier is. The loss of the Irish tenant is the loss of livelihood. If you want an explanation of the evil inflicted on the Irish tenant—if you want to know the hardship of the Irish tenant's case when evicted causelessly, I refer you to the explanation I heard from the lips of the hon. Gentleman the junior Member for Carlow County (Mr. Kavanagh), given in his first speech upon this Bill, when he said—"The choice of the evicted tenant is America or the poorhouse." These are the circumstances, dreadfully and emphatically described, under which we contend that the causeless eviction of the Irish tenant usually means ruin, and that in respect of that ruin he ought to receive damages. The proposition which we assert, and the proposition the right hon. Gentleman denies, is that of damages I entirely apart from the claim we propose to recognize of a property in the improvements which the tenant has made. The hon. and learned Member for Richmond admitted that there might be a State necessity, arising out of the peculiar circumstances of Ireland for such an enactment as this. That necessity arises out of the fact, which may not be true as a universal proposition, but which is generally and too fatally true, that to the man so ejected there is no alternative except one of the two named by the hon. Member for Carlow. Therefore, a State necessity arises out of that consideration—a State necessity which now exhibits itself before you. In fact, within the last few weeks you have been obliged to confess that Ireland, after all the centuries of our legislation, is at this moment, to the scandal of the civilized world and to the dishonour of the fair name and fame of England, go where you will, ungovernable by the ordinary law. [An hon. MEMBER: Whose fault is it?] Does the hon. Gentleman who asks that question think that the mischief has arisen within the last twelve months. My revenge upon him is simply to recommend to him a prolonged course of study of Irish history, of which he evidently stands in need. But it is not alone a case of legislation founded upon State necessity. Our conviction is that causeless eviction ought to be laden with a charge which will operate as a bar and as a powerful deterrent against a landlord before he resorts to it, and before he uses the threat of it, for it is by the threat and by the anticipation of eviction that the greater part of the mischief is done. In order to ascertain the justice of that it is absolutely necessary to go back; and the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Buxton) who spoke so ably to-night, unduly depreciated his own speech when he said he was producing matter of antiquarian interest. You must understand what kind of tenure the Irish tenant inherited in order to know what ideas he received from his fathers. Do you think that those ideas he has received from his ancestors can be uprooted in a moment? Is that a Conservative view? On the contrary, you would praise him for cherishing, even in weakness, the traditions of his country. What was the Irish tenure? It was a tenure of perpetuity; the occupier of the land was irremovable from the land by ancient Irish custom. What came in lieu of this Irish custom? Nominally, there came the feudal system. How does Judge Longfield speak of it? He says— According to the old feudal law the lordship could not be transferred without the consent of the tenant, lest an enemy might be made his feudal superior; but in a great part of Ireland a sudden and violent transfer of the lordship was made to persons whom the tenants knew only as their victorious enemies. Is it not idle to compare the position and ideas of that country with those of England and Scotland, where, after a long course of good government for many peaceful generations, reposing thankfully under the shadow of the laws and institutions of the country, men are satisfied that the laws that govern them are adapted to all their recollections, all their ideas and wants? But the case of Ireland does not rest upon what lies in remote antiquity. On a former occasion I mentioned what was said by Mr. O'Connell, and the passage is a remarkable one. He says those who reason that to legislate against the landlord would be to deprive him of his property Forget the Acts of Parliament passed in favour of the landlord and against the tenant. Let there be an Act of Parliament on the other side. Mr. O'Connell speaks of Acts which had passed within sixty or eighty years on the other side, and he says— The condition of the tenants will be greatly benefited by depriving the landlord of much of the legal machinery by which he is able to extort an exorbitant rent from the occupier. All that would be necessary would be to repeal a few Acts of Parliament, and to restore the ancient law with respect to the relations of landlord and tenant. Perhaps you will say that this is Mr. O'Connell, and he was a patriot and a demagogue; you may mistrust his authority; but you will pay more attention to that of Judge Longfield, who in a brief space sets out the successive Acts by which Parliament has legislated against the occupiers of land, and has created that instability of tenure which you are now asked to remove. It is not the result simply of the natural circumstances of Ireland; it is the result in the main of statutory enactments which, as it were, behind the back of the Irish occupier Parliament has adopted, and by means of which it has fundamentally altered his condition. Judge Longfield says that the laws, unduly favourable to the landlord, were rigidly maintained as if they had been unalterable laws of nature, and were at once altered if they appeared to afford a temporary protection to the tenant. In the case of a disputed action between a landlord and a tenant, the former did not wait for the decision of a court of justice, but sent the bailiff and seized the goods of the tenant. The landlord had to give no security in case his claim should be false; but the tenant, although he saw his goods distrained by simple process, could not act without a troublesome replevin, and only then by giving security for the sum demanded; but to discourage him in testing the landlord's rights he was compelled to pay double costs if he failed. Judge Longfield goes on to detail the rest of the Acts by which Parliament has not only modified but has essentially changed, with respect to evictions, the position of the Irish tenant. The ancient grievance of Ireland was not eviction. If you go back 100 or 150 years you do not find it was eviction which was the great grievance of Ireland. Oppression existed in another form. According to the best authorities, the Whiteboy disturbances grew out of the suppression of the commonages, which the people had enjoyed. The commons were enclosed for the benefit of the landlords, in consequence of the great demand for stock. On a former occasion I ventured to point out that an Act relating to ejectment in 1815 or 1816 made a fundamental change in the law. That Act contained in the Preamble a recital to the effect that the law was costly and impracticable, and that the process by which the landlord could put out a tenant was practically of little or no vise, and, consequently, Parliament altered the system. Therefore, you have radically altered the condition of the Irish occupier, and have created that instability of tenure which is now proved to be an evil worse than any that have previously disfigured the condition of Ireland; and what we are now proposing to do is the redressing of an inequality—I would say the partial redressing of an inequality, but the best the circumstances permit of. That is a true description of the process to which we invite the favour of Parliament. It is said—"Here is an interference with the principle of property;" but that is an assertion of very wide scope. When we framed the Bill we endeavoured to avoid as far as possible giving any ground for an appeal to those principles which tend to rouse the feelings of classes. I hope it will be admitted on all sides that we have not been indistinct in the declaration of our intention to offer a firm resistance to all attempts to introduce principles into the Bill which would go to make the power of the landlord over his property, or the receipts he derived from it, subject to the indefinite claims of a separate and rival interest. Now, with respect to interference with property, there are two kinds of such interference. You may interfere so as to weaken the foundations of property, and you may interfere so as to strengthen them. One of our complaints in reference to the present state of Ireland is that the foundations of property are miserably weakened—that is to say, that as far as social order is maintained in a great part of Ireland it is maintained by force and fear, and not by love and affection. So long as that state of things prevails, there can be no satisfaction for the possessors of property, and even if they were called to make a sacrifice, it would be worth while to make it for the purpose of redressing that paramount and monster evil. No one who recollects the condition of Ireland with respect to the military and police force, will hesitate to admit that statement. Is our interference with property more marked than that effected by the Irish Poor Law? When that law was enacted, did we not impose for the first time on a particular description of property a certain burden, to which from time immemorial it had never been subject? And yet that was considered a perfectly fair and just measure, because it was deemed to be to the interest of property that the burden should be imposed in order that the social and political condition of the country might be improved. We might be content to shelter ourselves behind that great and authoritative example. But the difference here is this—that the years' purchase—which you are so fond of calling seven, though that is the highest point which in any case it can attain—need not he a deduction from the interest of the landlord. If you say that twenty-one years' purchase represents the value of landed property in Ireland, I ask why, instead of twenty-one years' purchase, it is not thirty or thirty-three years' purchase? The reason is to be found in the insecurity arising from the state of the country. Why should not Ireland be as well conditioned as Scotland? It is more populous. Why should not its agriculture be as good, though conducted in a method of its own; and why should not capital be applied with the same confidence to the cultivation of the land? We, who think that a reasonable Bill on the subject of the Irish land laws may attain its object, are justified in hoping and expecting, if we meet the reasonable demands of the Irish people, that their aspirations will fall down to the level and standard of justice, and that the establishment of good laws will produce that sense of security on the part of tenants and that disposition to invest capital in land which will make the land in Ireland not merely worth twenty or twenty-five years' purchase, but will raise it altogether to, or very nearly to, the value of land in England or Scotland. I need not say much more; but this I will say, and it is my last charge against the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman. No one can have observed these debates in Committee without being struck with the immense proportion in which the House has been addressed by English or Scotch Members. It is remark- able that though we have on the opposite Benches many hon. Gentlemen connected with Ireland—several with Ulster and some with other parts of Ireland—from very few of them has proceeded opposition to this Bill. I think, when I consider the observations of the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. W. Johnston), and in particular of the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Kavanagh), we have had, perhaps, more of support than opposition from the Irish Members sitting opposite. It is owing to two causes that we observe this phenomenon. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) was right in saying that there is too great a disposition to apply the ideas of our own circle to other circles beyond it; and English and Scotch Members, knowing the principles which prevail healthily and happily in Great Britain, too rapidly assume that they ought to receive equal and immediate application in Ireland. But, besides this, there is the apprehension that the provisions of this Bill may come to be applied in England and Scotland. Now, we have studiously drawn the Bill with a view to the opposite effect. We have endeavoured, to leave ample scope for the introduction of Scotch and English usages in Ireland; but whenever we could strike on Irish peculiarities we have made them prominent, so as to make it not easy but difficult to introduce the Bill into England and Scotland, the circumstances of which do not require it. When we dealt with Ireland, we selected first that which was Irish, and which we knew not to be English. We began by legislating as largely as we could upon the Irish customs. We legalized the Ulster customs, and when we had to deal with the rest of Ireland, we sanctioned, as the basis of our legislation, a state of relations between occupiers and landlords wholly foreign to their condition in this country. We have founded ourselves on conditions specifically Irish in those parts of the Bill. And so, when we came to deal with improvements, we have proceeded on principles which are different, but not wholly different, from those prevalent in England. In this country the improvements on an estate, in the absence of contract, become the property of the landlord, though the opposite principle would seem in the abstract to be right. However, when we examine the circumstances of England and Scot- land, and find that these works of improvements are generally provided by the owner, and not by the occupier, the theoretical paradox wholly disappears, or becomes entirely insignificant. Therefore, as regards our Improvements Clause, we find that in principle it is substantially just, and that if introduced into this country, it could do no great mischief. If anyone had taxed his brain to conceive a proposition intended to prepare the way for the introduction of this legislation into England and Scotland, I can conceive no plan more fitted for the purpose than the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Take the case of the "interruption of the due course of husbandry." Such a provision has but a limited application hi Ireland, on account of the smallness of the holdings; but in England and Scotland it would have a large application. I hold that to be an unfortunate incident in the form of the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment. I will not, however, stand on that; but I say I have tried to separate from the consideration of the point now before the Committee all the circumstances connected with the scale, with the freedom of contract, and the leasing powers. I have intimated to the Committee how anxious we shall be to adjust the provisions of the Bill, and to adapt them to the peculiar circumstances they are intended to meet; but setting these matters now aside, and regarding the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, I maintain that it is an undisguised attempt to overthrow one of the main principles of the Bill as originally introduced. Nothing could be more shadowy than the ideas of the right hon. Gentleman with respect to land legislation, when he said on a former occasion that all we had to do was to give power to the courts, and to establish freedom of contract, but would not say, in answer to my question, what was to be done if freedom of contract was used to disclaim the courts. Still, I think, the right hon. Gentleman will perceive that, according to our point of view, and in conformity with every declaration we have made, it is impossible for us to treat as other than a blow aimed at the heart and life of the Bill his proposal, which, without discussing the quantity, the mode, or degree, calls on the House to put an absolute negative on the principle that the Irish tenant, when causelessly evicted, ought to receive compensation for his loss.


Mr. Dodson—If the Committee will allow me to trespass on their attention for a few minutes, I should like, before we divide, to call the attention of the Committee to the real question before them. For this purpose I shall have to throw aside some ingenious arguments and some charming declamation to which we have listened. The right hon. Gentleman has accused me of some Parliamentary dissimulation on this occasion, and has intimated that I, after holding out fair promises of giving a candid consideration and a general cordial support to this measure, have taken the earliest opportunity of striking at the very principle of the Bill. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in complete inconsistency with that view, said that my Amendments were not Amendments to the Amendment of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, but that they had been on the Paper for a long time. Why, that is my case. Among other Amendments, I put on the Paper one to this clause. It was one only to an inferior part of the clause as it was then drawn. And although it has turned out in the odd chapter of Parliamentary accidents that we have a very full discussion upon what has become now an important issue, my vindication as to my general intention in regard to the Bill rests on the fact of the Amendment I am going to move to-night coming, according to the arrangement of the Paper, as an Amendment to a secondary part of the clause in the Bill of the Government. At the beginning of the evening I alluded, and I will now again refer in one instance, to the system of changes made by the Government, and which have brought us to the peculiar position in which we now find ourselves—changes in regard to the mode in which the Government dealt with Ulster usages—changes in regard to the most important provisions, the importance of which has been acknowledged by the high authority of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) tonight, with regard to the power of a landlord granting a lease to a tenant which should arrest his claim for any of these invasions of the proprietary rights which have hitherto been unchallenged. And then I called the attention of the House to what every Member must be aware of—the complete re-construction of this 3rd clause; so that the second portion of the proviso to which I had offered my humble Amendment had become the prime and sole contents of the clause, and all the arrangements, all the computations which had been of course calculated from the aggregate of considerations to induce the Committee to arrive at the result recommended were all to apply to what now appears as the secondary consideration of the proviso. I thought then there was a very strong case to put before the Committee to show that when they had been really in Committee for some time, and had passed only one clause, such vast changes had occurred in this important matter; but if I required any vindication for the opinion I gave at the commencement of the evening—if I required any vindication for the argument I offered and the inference I wished the Committee to draw from it—the debate of to-night and the admissions of the First Minister and one of his chief Colleagues afford that complete and triumphant vindication. What does the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer say about this lease, the power of offering which was indeed accepted by the majority of the House as a compensation for the deprivation and diminution of the landlord's rights? What did he say about the lease, the relinquishment of which filled the hon. and learned Member for Richmond with apprehension? He says—"Upon that subject we have an important provision to make." But where is it? Not on the Paper; not on the Table. No notice has been given of it by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and yet the business is so exigent that we are to have Morning Sittings to pass a measure when some of the most important propositions are not even in form before the House. But, Sir, astonished as I was by the confession of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer—which I attributed to, I will not say the imprudence, but to the awkwardness which prevails sometimes at the commencement of a debate; imprudence is rather the characteristic of a later period in the evening—what is the admission of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to leases compared with the portentous confession just made by the Prime Minister? A new Bill! I think this is a new Bill, indeed, when I am told that it is to be framed on the model of the Bank Charter Bill. I do not know whether that will be any recommendation to hon. Gentlemen from Scotland. I cannot conceive that an Irish Land Bill framed on the model of the Bank Charter Bill will be one which the Northern part of Great Britain will receive with great complacency. The right hon. Gentleman now tells us that he is prepared to make this virtually a temporary Bill, and he asks the House only to pass it for a period of twenty years.


I stated that we had carefully considered whether we could apply a provision of that kind to the whole Bill or the general bulk of the Bill; but on account of the nature of the interests involved we did not see how that could be done, but that to the particular provisions that restricted free contract in the 3rd clause it appeared to us it might be applied.


That, Sir, is a very handsome admission. Most of those on this side of the House thought it had even a wider application; but the admission is very important, because the right hon. Gentleman admits that restriction on free contract, certainly the most objectionable part of the Bill, is to be mitigated by its being made virtually of a temporary character. But, I say, when such an important admission is made at this hour of the night, it is an argument that the Committee should have some time given them to digest these alterations, and should not have to meet again in a few hours to hurry on a Bill in which, for aught I know, still more important alterations may be made. The right hon. Gentleman says that we have interfered as violently or more violently with property in Ireland in the case of the Poor Law. Sir, that is a fallacy on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. When we interfered by the Poor Law in Ireland, we did not interfere with the freedom of contract. He might as well say that we interfered with property in Ireland when we introduced the income tax. The right hon. Gentleman has challenged me on a subject on which he did not appear to me to be so well informed as in most others, and that is on the cultivation of the soil. Certainly, I admit that the great body of small tenants in Ireland, some of whom only pay £5 a year, are not likely to have a cultivation of the soil so artificial as to involve the rotation of crops; but the Bill is not limited to these small proprietors; it ascends, particularly in the new scale, to occupiers of considerable dimensions, quite sufficient to permit cultivation by rotation of crops. But if the right hon. Gentleman ever finds himself in the position of being a tenant-at-will, and he embarks in a rotation of crops and is dismissed at the end of the year, I think he will find that for unexhausted manures he has a claim for compensation. And when the right hon. Gentleman says that my Amendment may recommend the introduction into Ireland of a principle which may be most injurious and might be fatal if introduced in England, I beg to tell him that compensation for unexhausted improvements is enjoyed in England by the custom of the country. The right hon. Gentleman has to-night, as on previous occasions, endeavoured to overweigh our opinion by the great and "estimable authority of Judge Long-field." We have had two opinions from him to-night. I also will read two passages from Judge Longfield, and they are passages that have been written within a few days. Judge Longfield says, with reference to this measure— The landlord, under the Bill, may be called upon to pay seven years' purchase for taking back from the tenant a possession which he had delivered to the same tenant without receiving anything. Then the favourite authority of the right hon. Gentleman goes on— He is liable to be called on to pay £70, the whole rent that he had received, and the tenant, who need not have laid out a penny on the land, will have had the enjoyment of it for seven years rent free. Now, Sir, I do not say Judge Longfield is right or wrong. I do not insist on his authority; but I think that as he is quoted on the other side it is salutary that we should endeavour to get his last opinion. That remark is not only appropriate to the present moment; but I think it ought to make Gentlemen pause before they agree to the clause which is now before us. The real state of the case is, that the Government are in a difficulty through attempting to gain an object which they ought never to have sought to accomplish. And, in accordance with the habit of a Ministry embarrassed for the moment, they are endeavouring to misrepresent the feeling of the Committee; they want to make out that there is a great party struggle when there is no party struggle whatever. The Amendment which I put upon the Table was not aimed at all at these new arrangements, though it happily applies to them; and it is much better that we should decide upon an Amendment of that kind than upon a broad and hostile issue, for if my Amendment were carried there is no reason whatever why the Bill should not proceed. As far as party is concerned, there is no Gentleman sitting on the same side of the House as myself, whether he is connected with me by personal ties or political considerations, that I do not exempt from any necessity of supporting me upon this occasion. I gave notice of this Amendment and of some half-dozen others in the same spirit in which I spoke on the first night, when pledging myself, if possible, to assist the Government in carrying their measure. That measure I wish to see carried; but not by means which in themselves are objectionable, and which are totally opposed to the first representations that were made to this House, under which an unanimous support of the Bill was obtained. In the Bill, as it was drawn, and as it is yet unaltered, you are called on to give compensation to the tenant for his improvements, and as the second object of that clause you are to give him compensation for the loss which he sustains in quitting his holding. The right hon. Gentleman says this is the cardinal point of the measure, to secure damages for eviction. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer commenced the debate this evening by saying that he would not even listen to the phrase of damages for eviction, he so entirely disapproved it. In order to secure to the tenant fair and adequate compensation for improvements and for the loss which he might sustain in quitting his holding, a sliding scale of compensation was included in the original Bill, and must have been calculated from an aggregate of considerations. And compensation for improvements, the great point on which all parties are agreed, on which the opinion of the country has decided, and which was the main result of that celebrated investigation, the Devon Commission, must have been included in that computed sliding scale, and must have formed one of the principal elements or factors of that calculation. What position do we now find ourselves in? In the proposal which the Government make to-night they expunge all considerations of compensation for improvement, and they absolutely increase—enlarge and extend in amount and in character—the computed scale of compensation for eviction. I ask the Committee, is that a satisfactory mode of conducting affairs? Under any circumstances we should be justified in deliberating well before we came to a decision; but it is still more important that we should not too readily acquiesce in proposals marked by obvious haste and precipitation, remembering that in this change is involved the adoption of a principle not previously accepted by the Legislature of this country, or sanctioned by society. No one denies that in the clause now before us occupation, for the first time, is treated as property. For the first time it is provided by legislation that a lessee, when his term has expired, and when he has ceased to enjoy all the advantages of the term, may go to his lesser and demand compensation from him because his lease has expired. I will use no strong terms; I will not say these are monstrous innovations; I will not say they are provisions that might make the wisest man grave, and create alarm in the bosom of the boldest; but I will say that they are provisions novel in the history of this old and experienced country, that they require the utmost deliberation, that the measure includes proposals such as ought not to be hurried by a Minister through Parliament, and that a House of Commons will not do its duty to its constituents, be they English, Scotch, or Irish, which suffers a measure of this kind to be so hurried. The right hon. Gentleman has given us a striking picture of the state of Ireland, and he says it is to the shame of England that such a state of affairs should be allowed to exist. I sympathize with the sufferings of the Irish people as much, probably, as many in this House who talk more about them. There is much in the history of that race that is interesting, that charms the imagination, and that touches the heart. But when I hear of Ireland being the infamy of this country, I cannot but recollect that there is a portion of Ireland second to no part of England or Scotland in its energy and prosperity, and in the high national spirit that pervades its population. And I want to know how much of that prosperity, success, and high spirit are not due to British blood and British enter-prize. The right hon. Gentleman tells us the state of Ireland is disgraceful, and he fixes on the value of land there, which he seems to have heard of for the first time, as an evidence of this. Estates worth only twenty or twenty-one years' purchase—what a disgrace to England that such a state of things should exist in a country so closely connected with us, and which ought to share our civilization! The reason, he tells us, is that property in Ireland is not secure; and these are the schemes by which it is to be made secure. Estates are only selling there for twenty years' purchase; says the right hon. Gentleman—"I will secure to the occupier a third of that value"—and that is the way he increases the value of estates in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman compares the value of an estate in Ireland with that of an estate in England. I think it deserves the consideration both of Her Majesty's Government and of Members of this House, without distinction of party, whether, in attempting to heighten the value of property in Ireland, you may not succeed in lowering the value of property in England. It is because I see in this clause elements which will lead to that result, elements which will deteriorate the value of landed property in England and Scotland, without raising the value of landed property in Ireland, that I give my opposition to the clause, and that I move the Amendment which stands in my name.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 220; Noes 296: Majority 76.

Adderley,rt.hn. Sir C.B. Ball, J. T.
Allen, Major Barnett, H.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Barrington, Viscount
Archdall, Captain M. Barttelot, Colonel
Arkwright, A. P. Bateson, Sir T.
Arkwright, R. Bathurst, A. A.
Assheton, R. Beach, W. W. B.
Aytoun, R. S. Bective, Earl of
Bagge, Sir W. Bentinck, G. C.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Beresford, Lt.-Col. M.
Bingham, Lord Gregory, G. B.
Birley, H. Gurney, right hon. R.
Bourne, Colonel Hambro, C.
Bright, R. Hamilton, I. T.
Brise, Colonel R. Hamilton, Lord C.
Broadley, W. H. H. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Brodrick, hon. W. Hamilton, Lord G.
Brooks, W. C. Hamilton, Marquess of
Bruce, Sir H. H. Hardy, right hon. G.
Bruen, H. Hardy, J.
Burke, Viscount Hardy, J. S.
Burrell, Sir P. Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Cameron, D. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Cartwright, F. Henniker-Major, hon. J. M.
Cave, right hon. S.
Cawley, C. E. Henry, J. S.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Sir P.
Chaplin, H.
Charley, W. T. Hermon, E.
Child, Sir S. Hervey, Lord A. H. C.
Clive, Colonel E. Heygate, Sir F. W.
Clowes, S. W. Hick, J.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Collins, T. Hill, A. S.
Corbett, Colonel Hoare, P. M.
Corrance, F. S. Hodgson, W. N.
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L. Holford, R. S.
Crichton, Viscount Holmesdale, Viscount
Croft, Sir H. G. D. Holt, J. M.
Cross, R. A. Hood,Cap.hn.A.W.A.N.
Cubitt, G. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Curzon, Viscount Howes, E.
Dalrymple, C. Hunt, right hon. G. W.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Hutton, J.
Davenport, W. B. Ingram, H. F. M.
Dawson, R. P. Jackson, R. W.
De Grey, hon. T. Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Denison, C. B. Jervis, Colonel
Dimsdale, R. Jones, J.
Disraeli, right hon. B. Kekewich, S. T.
Dowdeswell, W. E. Keown, W.
Du Pre, C. G. Knight, F. W.
Dyott, Colonel R. Knox, hon. Colonel S.
Eastwick, E. B. Lacon, Sir E. H. K.
Eaton, H. W. Laird, J.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Langton, W. G.
Egerton, hon. W. Legh, W. J.
Elcho, Lord Lennox, Lord G. G.
Elliot, G. Leslie, C. P.
Elphinstone, Sir J.D.H. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Ewing, A. O. Lindsay, hon. Colonel C.
Feilden, H. M. Lindsay, Colonel R. L.
Fellowes, E. Lowther, Colonel
Fielden, J. Lowther, J.
Figgins, J. Lowther, W.
Finch, G. H. Maitland,Sir A. C. R. G.
Fitzwilliam, hn.C.W.W. Malcolm, J. W.
Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W. Manners, Lord G. J.
Forde, Colonel Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. March, Earl of
Fowler, R. N. Maxwell, W. H.
Galway, Viscount Mellor, T. W.
Garlies, Lord Meyrick, T.
Gilpin, Colonel Milles, hon. G. W.
Goldney, G. Mills, C. H.
Gooch, Sir D. Montagu, rt.hn.Lord R.
Gordon, E. S. Morgan, C. O.
Gore, J. R. O. Morgan, hon. Major
Gore, W. R. O. Mowbray, rt. Hon. J. R.
Graves, S. R. Neville-Grenville, R.
Gray, Lieut.-Colonel Newdegate, C. N.
Greene, E. North, Colonel
Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H. Smith, W. H.
Somerset, Colonel
O'Neill, hon. E. Stopford, S. G.
Paget, R. H. Stronge, Sir J. M.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Sturt, H. G.
Palk, Sir L. Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N.
Parker, Lieut-Col. W. Sykes, C.
Patten, rt. hon. Col. W. Talbot, hon. R. A. J.
Peek, H. W. Talbot, J. G.
Pell, A. Taylor, rt. hon. Colonel
Pemberton, E. L. Tipping, W.
Phipps, C. P. Tollemache, J.
Plunket, hon. D. R. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Raikes, H. C. Turner, C.
Read, C. S. Turnor, E.
Ridley, M. W. Verner, E. W.
Round, J. Verner, W.
Royston, Viscount Vickers, S.
Salt, T. Walker, Major G. G.
Sandon, Viscount Walpole, hon. F.
Selater-Booth, G. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J. Walsh, hon. A.
Welby, W. E.
Seymour, H. de G. Wethered, T. O.
Shirley, S. E. Whalley, G. H.
Sidebottom, J. Wilmot, H.
Simonds, W. B. Winn, R.
Sinclair, Sir J. G. T. Wyndham, hon. P.
Smith, A.
Smith, F. C. TELLERS.
Smith, R. Dyke, W. H.
Smith, S. G. Noel, hon. G. J.
Acland, T. D. Brogden, A.
Agar-Ellis,hon. L. G. F. Brown, A. H.
Akroyd, E. Bruce, Lord C.
Allen, W. S. Bruce, right hon. H. A.
Amcotts, Colonel W. C. Buller, Sir E. M.
Amory, J. H. Bury, Viscount
Anderson, G. Butler-Johnstone, H. A.
Anson, hon. A, H. A. Buxton, C.
Antrobus, E. Cadogan, hon. F. W.
Armitstead, G. Callan, P.
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. Campbell, H.
Backhouse, E. Candlish, J.
Baines, E. Cardwell, right hon. E.
Baker, R. B. W. Carnegie, hon. C.
Barclay, A. C. Carter, Mr. Alderman
Barry, A. H. S. Castlerosse, Viscount
Bass, A. Cavendish, Lord F. C.
Bass, M. T. Cavendish, Lord G.
Baxter, W. E. Chadwick, D.
Bazley, Sir T. Chambers, M.
Beaumont, Capt. F. Chambers, T.
Beaumont, S. A. Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E.
Bentall, E. H. Cholmeley, Captain
Blennerhassett, Sir R. Clay, J.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Cogan, rt. hon. W.H.F.
Bonham-Carter, J. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E.P. Coleridge, Sir J. D.
Bowmont, Marquess of Collier, Sir R. P.
Bowring. E. A. Corbally, M. E.
Brady, J. Cowen, J.
Brand, right hon. H. Cowper, hon. H. F.
Brand, H. R. Cowper-Temple,rt.hn W
Brassey, H. A. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Brewer, Dr. Crawford, R. W.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Dalrymple, D.
Brinckman, Captain Dalway, M. R.
Bristowe, S. B. D'Arcy, M. P.
Davies, R. Hurst, R. H.
Dease, E. Hutt, right hon. Sir W.
Delahunty, J. Hyde, Lord
De La Poer, E. Illingworth, A.
Denman, hon. G. Jardine, R.
Dent, J. D. Jessel, G.
Devereux, R. J. Johnston, A.
Dickinson, S. S. Johnston, W.
Digby, K. T. Johnstone, Sir H.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Kay-Shuttleworth, U.J.
Dillwyn, L. L. King, hon. P. J. L.
Dixon, G. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Dodds, J. Kirk, W.
Downing, M'C. Lambert, N. G.
Dowse, R. Lancaster, J.
Duff, M. E. G. Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Edwardes, hon. Col. W. Lawrence, W.
Edwards, H. Lawson, Sir W.
Egerton, Capt. hon. F. Lea, T.
Enfield, Viscount Leatham, E. A.
Ennis, J. J. Lefevre, G. J. S.
Erskine, Admiral J. E. Lewis, J. D.
Esmonde, Sir J. Lewis, J. H.
Eykyn, R. Loch, G.
Fagan, Captain Locke, J.
Fawcett, H. Lorne, Marquess of
Finnie, W. Lowe, right hon. R.
FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O.A. Lubbock, Sir J.
Lusk, A.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. Lyttelton, hon. C. G.
Fletcher, I. M'Arthur, W.
Foljambe, F. J. S. M'Clean, J. R.
Forster, C. M'Clure, T.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E. Macfie, R. A.
Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P. Mackintosh, E. W.
Fortescue, hon. D. F. M'Lagan, P.
Fothergill, R. M'Mahon, P.
Fowler, W. Magniac, C.
Gavin, Major Maguire, J. F.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Marling, S. S.
Gladstone, W. H. Martin, P. W.
Goldsmid, Sir F. H. Matthews, H.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J. Melly, G.
Gourley, E. T. Merry, J.
Gower, Lord R. Miall, E.
Graham, W. Milbank, F. A.
Gray, Sir J. Miller, J.
Gregory, W. H. Mitchell, T. A.
Greville, hon. Captain Monk, C. J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Monsell, right hon. W.
Grieve, J. J. Moore, G. H.
Grosvenor, hon. N. Morgan, G. O.
Grosvenor, Capt. R. W. Morley, S,
Guest, M. J. Morrison, W.
Hamilton, J. G. C. Mundella, A. J.
Hanmer, Sir J. Munster, H.
Hardcastle, J. A. Muntz, P. H.
Harris, J. D. Murphy, N. D.
Hartington, Marquess of Nicol, J. D.
Haviland-Burke, E. O'Brien, Sir P.
Hay, Lord J. O'Conor, D. M.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. O'Donoghue, The
Henley, Lord Ogilvy, Sir J.
Herbert, hon. A. E. W. O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.
Herbert, H. A.
Hibbert, J. T. Onslow, G.
Hodgkinson, G. O'Reilly, M. W.
Holms, J. O'Reilly-Dease, M.
Hoskyns, C. Wren- Osborne, R.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Otway, A. J.
Howard, J. Palmer, J. H.
Hughes, T. Palmer, Sir R.
Parker, C. S. Smith, E.
Parry, L. Jones- Smith, J. B.
Pease, J. W. Stacpoole, W.
Peel, A. W. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Pelham, Lord Stansfeld, right hon. J.
Philips, R. N. Stapleton, J.
Pim, J. Stepney, Colonel
Platt, J. Stevenson, J. C.
Playfair, L. Stone, W. H.
Plimsoll, S. Strutt, hon. H.
Pollard-Urquhart, W. Stuart, Colonel
Potter, E. Sykes, Colonel W. H.
Potter, T. B. Synan, E. J.
Power, J. T. Taylor, P. A.
Price, W. P. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Rathbone, W. Torrens, R. R.
Rebow, J. G. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Reed, C.
Richard, H. Trevelyan, G. O.
Richards, E. M. Villiers, right hon. C. P.
Robertson, D. Vivian, A. P.
Robinson, E. S. Vivian, H. H.
Roden, W. S. Vivian,Capt. hn. J.C.W.
Rothsehild.Brn.M.A. de Walter, J.
Rothschild, N. M. de Wedderburn, Sir D.
Russell, A. Weguelin, T. M.
Russell, H. West, H. W.
Rylands, P. Whatman, J.
St. Aubyn, J. Whitbread, S.
St. Lawrence, Viscount White, J.
Samuda, J. D'A. Whitwell, J.
Samuelson, B. Whitworth, T.
Samuelson, H. B. Williams, W.
Sartoris, E. J. Williamson, Sir H.
Saunderson, E. Willyams, E. W. B.
Seely, C. (Nottingham) Wingfield, Sir C.
Seymour, A. Young, A. W.
Shaw, R. Young, G.
Shaw, W.
Sherlock, D. TELLERS.
Sherriff, A. C. Adam, W. P.
Simeon, Sir J. Glyn, hon. G. G.
Simon, Mr. Serjeant

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.


said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government whether it would be absolutely necessary to have Morning Sittings during this week?


said, he had stated that it would be a great convenience for hon. Members to be released from the further prosecution of this Bill at the close of this week; but it would be necessary to go on with the Bill until that time.

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