HC Deb 25 June 1880 vol 253 cc841-2

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, in any of the districts scheduled in his "Bill to provide compensation for disturbance in certain cases of ejectment in Ireland," a state of destitution and suffering now exists such as prevailed so generally in Ireland in the great potato famine in 1846–7; and, whether, at that time any measures for the suspension or remission of rents was introduced into Parliament and passed by the Government of the day, or whether there is any record in the Irish Office of such a measure having been contemplated or considered?


Sir, I believe and trust there is in no one of the distressed Unions a state of destitution such as existed in the great Famine of 1846–7. I sincerely hope that not in the lifetime of my noble Friend, of his grand-children, or any of his descendants will there be such a famine again. As regards the measure now brought forward, I find no record of any previous similar measure. I will remind the noble Lord that what happened during the Famine cannot be considered as much of a guide for legislation. I will also further remind him that the Land Act has been passed since then.


asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn to the following paragraph in the "Echo" of June 24th:—

"Kildysart, Thursday.

"At the Ennis and Kilrush Quarter Sessions' which have just concluded, nearly 100 cases of ejectment were disposed of and the decrees obtained. The greater part of those against whom the decrees were taken out are people who are dependent upon the relief funds for support. At Kilrush a decree was obtained against a man named Nash, with ten children, the holder of half an acre, for which, with a dwelling house, he paid four pounds yearly. A few days before the sessions the sum was made up by subscription, and he forwarded it, together with ten shilling's costs, to the landlord's solicitor, but it was almost immediately returned;"

whether it is the fact that numerous ejectments have also been served throughout Ireland generally, and whether the Government will introduce any provision into the Compensation for Disturbance Bill to prevent landlords forestalling its operation; and, whether the Return of Evictions for the last six months, founded on district returns from the various head constables and sub-inspectors of Irish Police, will be presented to Parliament; and, if so, what are the circumstances taken into consideration by the police in filling up the column "hardship or not" contained in this return?


in reply, said, his attention had only been called to the paragraph referred to when he read the Question of the hon. Gentleman. As to the second part of the Question, he would have something to say on that head when the provisions of the Bill about to be introduced were discussed. He would ask that the application for the Return should for a short time be postponed until further information was obtained.