HC Deb 08 July 1881 vol 263 cc363-4

said, he wished to ask the Prime Minister a Question of which he had given him private Notice. As it was probable that Clause 34 of the Land Bill would be reached on Monday, Will the right hon. Gentleman direct that the names of the persons who are to compose the Land Commission shall be placed on the Notice Paper this evening, both on account of the very great importance of the question, and the great convenience which will result if the names are submitted to the Committee without delay?


I can promise two things, Sir. In the first place, we will not propose Clause 34 till we are ready to put in the names; and, in the second place, we will not propose Clause 34 without giving Notice of the names we intend to ask the House to put in. I think, however, the most convenient course would be to postpone Clause 34. We have proceeded on the principle we adopted at the time of the passing of the Irish Church Act, on a principle approved by the House then, and a reasonable principle too—namely, that it would be well to determine all the important and material duties of the Commission before we proceeded to name them. In point of fact, it is obvious, when we come to consider it, that the selection of the Commissioners implies the acceptance of responsible offices by Gentlemen to whom any offer or proposal could be made, and that they would naturally desire for to know what are the duties to be placed on them before they make up their minds on the matter. It so happens that in this particular instance we have two or three questions that must necessarily stand over, as matters now stand, until we have got through the clauses of the Bill. Whatever may be proposed with respect to labourers, and as to what has been proposed, at least with respect to arrears and other things, these are matters which the Committee have not had an opportunity of determining; and, therefore, probably the best way will be to postpone the matter.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman also intended to postpone the clause relating to the salaries and powers of the Commissioners?


said, he thought not. In accordance with the promise he made some time since, he would place an Amendment on the Paper, or describe generally various changes and, he hoped, improvements which they intended to make with regard to the arrangements relating to the Commission. He thought those might be very well considered before naming the Commission.