§ MR. DILLON
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he has been informed that several writs for arrears of rent have been served on the estates of Lord Rossmore, Stephen Murphy, and the Rev. Hans Acheson, in the county of Monaghan; that three writs have already been executed on the Rev. Mr. Acheson's property, the tenant's interest in each case being sold and purchased by the bailiff, with a view to bar them from all rights under the Arrears Bill; and, that ejectments on the title were served on June 12th; whether his attention has been directed to a letter from Rev. D. Donnelly, Lord Bishop of Clogher, dated June 1st, and in which occurs the following words:—Writs, you see, are being issued over the Rossmore Estate, writs for rent arrears which every one knows the people are utterly unable to pay, writs which therefore mean simply, be Lord Rossmore's legal rights what they may, the utter destruction and annihilation of the unfortunate tenants;whether he is aware that this system is being adopted in many parts of Ireland; 1767 and, whether, in view of this state of things, he will not now consider the necessity of immediately introducing a short Bill putting a stay of six months on the execution of all eviction decrees in Ireland?
Sir, my attention has not been called to the instances mentioned otherwise than by the hon. Member's Question. I naturally read the Question with great pain, in consequence of the allegation which by implication it contains. With regard to the inquiry whether I am aware that this system is being adopted in many parts of Ireland, I had better refer the hon. Member to what has already been stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The hon. Member further asks me whether I will consider the necessity of immediately introducing a short Bill putting a stay of six months on the execution of all evictions in Ireland? That is a repetition of a Question which I have already answered. I do not complain of the Question being repeated; but I can only refer the hon. Member to my former answer, in which I state that I know of no mode in which we can effect the object desired by the hon. Member, except by expediting ourselves, and, as far as we can, inducing others to expedite, the passing of the Arrears Bill. That this legislation should be expedited as much as possible is the interest, not of the tenants alone, but also of the landlords. I have received this morning a letter from a landlord in the West of Ireland, who was well known to me long ago, in which he states— and I place the utmost reliance upon his statement—that not only has he received no rent for the last four years, and that, being convinced that any attempt to evict would only cause crime, he has not evicted anyone, but that these Sessions he is sued by the Guardians of his Union for the payment of £192 for poor rates. Under these circumstances, we can only trust that in the interest of all, both landlords and tenants, everyone will strive to expedite the Irish legislation as much as possible.