HC Deb 26 May 1881 vol 261 cc1328-9

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, since the 5th May, the Government have received any information on the subject of the necessity of suspending evictions in Ireland in the case of tenants unable to pay their rents; whether that information has received the close and early attention of the Government; and, whether, in view of the delay of legislation, he will bring in some provisional measure to check evictions in such cases, and thus remove serious sources of disturbance in Ireland?


inquired whether the attention of the right lion. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury had been called to a Return issued that morning, stating that there had been 91 judgments entered in the High Court of Justice between January 29 and May 1, and that ejectment decrees had been granted during the Easter term to the number of 3,003?


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that many tenants who were well able to pay their rents refused to do so under pressure of the Land League; and whether he would consider the propriety of simplifying the procedure for the recovery of rent in Ireland?


My attention is not commonly called to Papers such as those to which the hon. Member for Galway refers except upon some collateral suggestion; and I have not had the opportunity of considering these Returns. I am afraid it is the case that a considerable number of persons who are able to pay their rents are under sinister suggestions to avoid payment; but I cannot at this moment say whether it is desirable to take any steps, or, if any, what stops, in the peculiar state of the law, with regard to the recovery of rents in Ireland. In answer to the Question of the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Dawson), I believe it refers to a previous reply of mine, which reply seemed to invite some further information on the subject to which it referred. I can only say that, so far as the Members of the Government in London are concerned, and so far as my right lion. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland is concerned, at the time when he left London, we had not as yet received any such further information; but, undoubtedly, all information which we do receive will be for us a matter of very serious consideration. With respect to exceptional legislation, I would remind the House that our Compensation for Disturbance Bill last year met with no success. I fear that further legislation of the same kind now, while very uncertain in its own direct issue, would cause serious delay to other legislation which we hope may be of a more permanent character.