HC Deb 22 June 1881 vol 262 cc1085-6

(Mr. Rendel, Mr. Gurdon.)


Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Order be discharged, said, that since the first reading of the measure the position of the question of Distress had undergone a material change. The Opposition had failed to divide against the Resolution in favour of the abolition of Distress in regard to agricultural holdings which was moved by the hon. Member for Kerry (Mr. Blennerhassett), and the Government had pronounced distinctly for abolition. That being so, he wished to leave the question in the hands of the Government. His Bill would, he thought, have provided an immediate and handsome instalment of relief; but, in the present state of Public Business, it was idle to suppose it could become law this Session, and he was, therefore, indisposed to occupy the time of the House with it. He accordingly moved the discharge of the Order.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Order be discharged."—(Mr. Rendel.)


said, that it did not follow, because the House had passed an abstract Resolution on that subject, that it was prepared to deal with it in the sense indicated by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Rendel). He (Mr. T. Collins) had always maintained that a limited right of Distress—say, for a twelvemonth's rent—would be a great advantage to the small farmer. If the right of Distress were entirely abolished, the landlords would be driven to obtain their rents in advance, which certainly would not encourage men of small means to take farms.


contended that although it was true in a literal sense that the abstract Resolution lately moved by the hon. Member for Kerry (Mr. Blennerhassett) was carried, yet it was carried by a perfect accident, and the feeling of the House was not with the Resolution.


said, that if a division had been taken he should have voted against the abstract Resolution which had been referred to, inasmuch as only one side of a question was brought into prominence in such discussions. He hoped the whole question would be re-considered, for the Law of Distress, though it might work a cruel injustice, if pushed to the extreme, yet, as practically carried out, protected the tenant; and he considered that without entire abrogation of its principle it might be brought into harmony with justice, and the larger interests involved in the culture of the land.


denied that his Resolution was carried by an accident. If any hon. Member had wished to challenge it, he had only to vote against it; but not a single hon. Member was found to take that course. The opinion of the House had been expressed through his Resolution that Distress should be totally abolished. ["No, no!"]


said, that in contradiction of what had been alleged by the hon. Member for Kerry (Mr. Blennerhassett) he must repeat that the absence of a division was due to an accident.


rose to continue the discussion,

And it being a quarter of an hour before Six of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned till To-morrow.