HC Deb 20 February 1880 vol 250 cc1159-63

Order for Committee read.

Billconsideredin Committee.

(In the Committee.)


who had given Notice to move the following Clause:—

(Loans to occupiers of agricultural holdings.) And whereas, by reason of the distress amongst the occupiers of land in Ireland, it has become desirable to extend the powers and facilities for granting loans under the provisions of the Land Improvements Acts and under the provisions of 'The Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878,'and 'The Public Health (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1879:' Be it therefore Enacted, That the Commissioners of Public Works shall, at any time after the passing of this Act, have power to lend money as set forth in Section 9, and at the same rates, to occupiers of agricultural holdings, on the security of their said holdings, for permanent improvements on the soil, said, he desired to know whether the Government proposed to agree to the Amendment, of which he had given Notice, with regard to electoral disability. If they did so, he was disposed not to move the clause which related to giving loans to the actual occupiers of holdings. As he could not undertake to argue the point of his Amendment that night, he would be obliged, in the event of an adverse reply being given from the Treasury Bench, to move that Progress be reported.


said, that the Bill as it stood complied with the conditions prescribed by the ordinary Poor Law; but the measure being an exceptional one, and dealing with a temporary emergency, the Government thought that the principle of the new clause might be accepted, provided it was duly guarded.


said, that the reply of the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly satisfactory to him.

Clause 9 (Validation of loans).

MR. LAWmoved, at the end of the Clause, to add— Whenever by any award, or otherwise, the rent payable by a tenant shall be increased by reason or in respect of any works executed on his holding under the provisions of the Land Improvement Act and this Act, then, and in every such case, the works so executed shall, so far as such increase of rent shall be paid by such tenant or his successors in title, be deemed to be improvements made by such tenant within the meaning of the 4th section of 'The Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870.'


said, it was rather inconvenient to discuss the Amendment at so short a Notice. He had some interest in the alterations suggested, and thought it would be better that the proposed Amendment should be in the hands of hon. Members for a short time to admit of consideration. It appeared to him that the right hon. and learned Gentleman had overlooked altogether the fact that the increased rent which the tenant paid was in consideration of the increased value of the land, and that the increased rent did not convey to the tenant any right of ownership. He could not agree with the principle of the Amendment, and hoped that the matter would not be decided before the words had been placed in the hands of hon. Members.


said, that if the tenant paid money for improvements on his farm he did not see why those improvements should not be considered as belonging to him in proportion to the amount which he paid.

Amendmentagreed to.


Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clauses 10 to 13, inclusive,agreed to.

Clause 14 (Tax to be divided like poor rates).

MR. LAWmoved, as an Amendment, in page 8, line 40, after the word "him," to add the words— Provided always, Whenever the net value of the whole of the rateable hereditaments occupied by any person having no greater estate or interest therein than a tenancy from year to year or holding under any lease or other contract of tenancy shall not exceed four pounds, the cess payable in respect of such hereditaments under any presentment, pursuant to this Act, shall be applotted on the immediate lessor of such person; and, if at the time of applotting any such cess the name of the immediate lessor shall not be accurately known to the person applotting the cess, it shall be sufficient to describe him as 'the immediate lessor,' with or without any name or further addition; and such cess shall be held to be duly applotted on him by such description, and shall be recoverable from him accordingly, and all the provisions contained in the Act of the sixth and seventh years of the reign of Queen Victoria, chapter ninety-two sections two, three, four, and six, respectively, as to the recovery of poor rate rateable in respect of such hereditaments, and as to the deduction of the whole of such rate for the rent payable by the occupier in case such rate shall be recovered from or paid by him, shall apply to the cess payable in respect of such hereditaments under any presentment pursuant to this Act.

Amendmentagreed to.


Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clause 15 (Remuneration for county officers).


said, it was undesirable that the Grand Jury should have the power, as they would have if the clause were agreed to in its present form, of awarding any amount they pleased as remuneration to landowners. It would be very easy and much better that the whole of this business should come before the extraordinary presentment sessions for consideration, as, according to the wording of the clause, after the road was passed the jury could award any amount they pleased.


suggested that the case would be met by the insertion of the words, "such sums as have been awarded by the extraordinary presentment sessions."


said, that in the next paragraph the Grand Jury had the power of ordering compensation to owners of ground without previous application to the presentment sessions. He did not think the words suggested by his hon. and gallant Friend (Major Nolan) would do away with the difficulty.


pointed out that there was no question before the Committee.

Clauseagreed to.

Clause 16 (Audit of accounts)agreed to.

Clause 17 (Repayment to the Treasury).


desired to know what further advances were intended to be provided for as expressed in line 9 of this clause? Did the phrase include the advances made under the earlier part of the section to owners of land; to extraordinary presentment sessions; or did it include anything for the purposes of relief? He moved the omission of the words, "and to provide for further advances under this Act."


said, that the further advances referred to were the unpaid instalments of loans which had already accrued, or which might accrue.

Amendment, by leave,withdrawn.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUERmoved, from page 10, line 14, after the word "of," the omission of the words "five hundred," in order to insert the words "seven hundred and fifty."

Amendmentagreed to.

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clause 18 (Extension of borrowing powers of Commissioners of Church Temporalities)agreed to.

Clause 19 (Repayment to Church Commissioners).

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUERmoved, in page 10, line 38, after "by," to omit the words "Boards of Guardians."

Amendmentagreed to.

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clause 20 (Indemnity and Saving)agreed to.

MR. O'SHAUGHNESSYmoved, in page 4, after Clause 8, to insert the following Clause:—


"If in any electoral division the expense to be borne by such division as union charges and electoral division charges for the relief of the poor under the Poor Law Acts shall exceed by one fifth the highest rate levied on such division during the last four years, so much of such expense as shall exceed the said highest rate levied during the last four years, together with one-fifth of such highest rate, shall be charged and levied upon all property rateable to the relief of the poor in Ireland."

Undoubtedly, the distress and its relief would press very heavily on the electoral divisions, and be the cause of future distress and want. The object of the Amendment was to apply to Ireland, in a limited manner, the principle which was in operation among the 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 of inhabitants of London.


said, he was quite satisfied with the clause as it stood. The Government did not seem to think that the distress would be much extended. If so, the provision made would be sufficient; but if the distress became very severe something more would be required. Probably if the distress became much more severe, the Government would step in and assist them by a national rate. He thought that his hon. and learned Friend would be wise in not pressing his Amendment.


begged to withdraw the clause.

Clause, by leave,withdrawn.


stated that he did not propose to move the clause which stood in his name (Out-door relief not to involve electoral disability).


Billreported;as amended, to be considered onMondaynext, and to beprinted.[Bill 84.]