§ MR. W. CORBET
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If his attention has been called to the following statement printed in the "St. James's Gazette" and other London papers of Saturday the 19th instant:Several evictions took place yesterday on the estate of Mr. McGeough, J.P. near Newtownhamilton, county Armagh. The sheriff was attended by his bailiffs, and the decrees were enforced under the protection of fifty policemen. Many painful scenes were witnessed; children and aged persons, some of the latter being in very delicate health, were cast out on the road side. The peasantry gathered in large numbers; some of the women threw stones at the bailiffs, and invoked curses on the landlord: but the police behaved with forbearance and kindness, supplying with money the most destitute of those who were evicted;whether, in order to prevent the occurrence of such scenes, he will at once introduce his promised Land Bill as a measure of urgency, and use all the power vested in him by Mr. Speaker's New Rules to pass it into Law; and, if not, whether he will, when the Bill for the Protection of Person and Property in Ireland comes up for Report, introduce a Clause into it to stay evictions while it remains in force, should it become Law, with a view to the protection 1523 of the lives of Her Majesty's poorer I subjects in Ireland?
Sir, in regard to the first part of the Question, I have been informed by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland of the general purport of this statement. I do not imagine that the hon. Gentleman wishes to address to me any Question on that statement except for the purpose of eliciting the fact of my being cognizant of it. With respect to the second part of the Question, I have to state that I hope, on Thursday, to be able to be in a position, with reference to the probable progress in the interval of the Bill now before the House, to make some additional statement to the House as to the future course of Business as far as it depends on the Government. With regard to the third part of the Question, as to whether we will, when the Bill for the Protection of Person and Property in Ireland comes up for Report, introduce a clause into it to stay evictions while it remains in force, I have to say that we do not intend to propose such a clause.