§ MR. SEXTON
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he will specify the passages in the speech of the honourable Member for Tipperary (at the meeting of the Irish National Land League, in Dublin, on the 27th ultimo), which, in his opinion, are objectionable; and, whether it is to be understood that the Government have finally decided, with regard to the thousands of evictions now impending in Ireland (as declared in the speech of the honourable Member for Tipperary), that no steps will be taken for the protection of the homes, the property, and the present or prospective rights of these thousands of Irish tenants, except such as are contemplated in the Irish Land Bill?
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
said, that before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question of the hon. Member, he should like to know what was the protection afforded to tenants at the present time by Clauses 13 and 48 of the Land Bill?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
Sir, with regard to the first Question I do not think it would be convenient for me to answer it, and for this reason—that I could not answer it without anticipating the discussion on the Motion which has been 1831 given Notice of by the hon. Member for Longford (Mr. Justin M'Carthy) on the Orders of Business for this evening. As regards the second Question, that is really a Question which ought to be asked during the debate on the Land Bill, and I should have thought that the hon. Member could have elicited the information with more convenience even this very evening when a full answer could be given. In reply to the hon. Member for Salford (Mr. Arthur Arnold), I must say that I would refer hon. Members to the clauses in the Land Bill which he mentions. I believe they make it clear, as to any tenants against whom notices of proceedings of ejectment for non-payment of rent to be taken at Quarter Sessions or in the Superior Courts have been served, that during the whole time of such proceedings, including the six months' time for redemption, those tenants would be able, after the passing of this Act, to apply to the Court for a judicial rent to be fixed; and therefore, if the rent which they had paid was too high a rent, the Court might be expected to fix a lower rent, and by that means they would obtain tenant right, which would have a saleable value.