HC Deb 06 March 1882 vol 267 cc280-6

"County of Tipperary.—Division of Cashel.

"Patrick Ryan, Tenant of the Lands of Car-line, in the Barony of Lower Kilnemanagh and Parish of Donohill, Claimant.—Viscount Hawardon, of 5, Princes Gardens, South Kensington, London, Landlord of the above-named Tenant, in respect of the said land, Respondent.

"The said tenant, Patrick Ryan, asserting that he is disturbed in the occupation of such lands, by the act of his landlord, by having been evicted for non-payment of rent not exceeding £15, and the non-payment thereof having arisen from the exorbitance of said rent, claims compensation for the loss sustained by him in quitting his holding as follows:—

£ s. d.
Seven years' rent thereof (the holding being valued at £12 10s. 0d. per annum), and the annual rent being £13 2s. 0d. 91 14 0
The said tenant, Patrick Ryan, also claims compensation for Improvements made on said lands by himself and by his predecessor in title—viz.:—
£ s. d.
1869 Dwelling-house (slated) built on said lands 250 0 0
1869 Out-offices erected on said lands 50 0 0
1850 to 1882 Reclaiming 40 statute acres of said lands, at £20 per acre 800 0 0
1863 to 1882 Top dressing, irrigation, and improving by manures 20 acres of said land at £2 per acre 40 0 0
1863 to 1882 Erecting fences on said lands and removing ditches from same 40 0 0
£1,271 14 0

"(Signed) P. C. M. GOUGH,

"Solicitor for Tenant,

"33, Upper Ormond Quay,


"Dated this 8th day of February, 1882."

£1,271 14s. was claimed in respect of a holding the rent of which was only £13 2s. per annum. There were many other points on which he could enlarge; but he would stand on those he had already brought forward as sufficient for the end in view. At the commencement of his observations he said he hoped to be able to prove four points—namely, that justice had been violated; that the Courts were essentially onesided; that imcompetent and improper persons had been appointed to administer judicial functions; and that confiscation in a most arbitrary form was being carried on. He submitted that he had established his case in the absence of evidence controverting the facts he had adduced, and that if ever an inquiry into the administration of an Act of the Legislature was justified and called for, it was so in this instance. The conduct of the Government in their appointments, and the conduct of their nominees, had been called in question. The qualifications of those nominees had been distinctly impeached, and a charge had been made against the Government of conniving at and instigating the action of their official creations. A protest had been lodged in the shape of a Petition to the Queen against the present administration and carrying out of the Act. In the face of these charges, put forward in no light or irrelevant manner, but with the weight of evidence of public opinion, and the appeals of their victims in support of the demand for inquiry, was it just, was it expedient, was it decorous, for the Government to shelter themselves behind a plea of expediency, and to endeavour to shift the responsibility of the failure of their Irish policy to the shoulders of those who warned them that their Act would be a failure, but whose representations were unheeded and thrust aside? Was it respectful to Parliament that they should continue to sit through this debate in almost absolute silence, and that they should continue to instigate, by such speeches as that of the Solicitor General on Thursday, and others in previous debates, the persons who were carrying out the Act in a manner not contemplated by the Legislature to persevere in the course which was being so loudly complained of? If considerations of high policy were involved in the general reduction of all rents in Ireland, let them, at least, come forward and say so, boldly and openly, and let them propose such measures of relief to those whose interests were directly affected, as English statesmen had hitherto considered it their duty to recommend to the honesty and fair dealing of the country. But let it not be either insinuated, or openly said, as was now the case, that they carried through Parliament a measure which they now feared to have their administration of investigated, and which, obtained under false issues and misrepresentations as to its effect, was, in its present form of interpretation, a daily-increasing wrong, and an unquestionable fraud on the intentions of the Legislature.


moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be adjourned until Tomorrow."—(Mr. Butt.)


said, the Government would not oppose the adjournment; but it was understood that another evening's discussion would terminate the debate. As the Motions on the Paper for to-morrow did not appear to be such as would occupy the whole of the evening, the Government would put down the adjourned debate amongst Tuesday's Orders.


thought the right hon. and learned Gentleman could only have taken a very hasty glance at the Order Book, when he said there were Motions down for to-morrow which would only occupy a short time. The right hon. and learned Gentleman could not have looked at No. 1, which was followed by several Amendments, and which dealt with a subject, the importance of which, whatever might be the opinions as to the Motion, no one would gainsay. The right hon. and learned Gentleman could scarcely have been in his place when Notice was given to-night by the hon. Member for Berwickshire (Mr. Marjoribanks) of his intention, to-morrow, to ask leave to introduce a Bill dealing with the Parliamentary Oath. Of course, he did not suppose the right hon. and learned Gentleman was really serious in what he had said. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, the right hon. and learned Gentleman could scarcely have been so. He (Mr. J. Lowther) should be deceived in the right hon. and learned Gentleman if he were to hold out any hope—unless, indeed, hon. Gentlemen departed from the intention they seemed to indicate—of being able to bring the debate to a termination in another evening's discussion. The House must remember that, so far as this debate was concerned, tonight had only been a broken night. During a considerable portion of it they had had other matters intruded upon their notice. He only made these observations as he did not wish the right hon. and learned Gentleman or the House to labour under any misapprehensions on this subject.


said, he thought it would be very inconvenient to adjourn the debate until to-morrow, as there was no possibility of its being reached. It would be to the general convenience of the House that the debate should be adjourned to a time when they knew it was sure to come on. There were Notices of Motion on the Paper about which there might be some difference of opinion.


said, that the other night the Business came to an untimely end because the Government did not care to keep a House for private Members; and that was surely a reason why another private Member's night should not be confiscated. If the Government put down the adjourned debate for to-morrow, hon. Gentlemen ought to take advantage of the fact that the Government were keeping a House, and have their Motions fully debated. He did not think it was right for the Government to be allowed to take a holiday whenever they wanted one, and to refuse one to private Members when those Mem- bers desired it. He, personally, was of opinion that a great deal of Private Business would be done to - morrow night.


said, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell) objected to the confiscation of a private Member's night. There was no intention on the part of the Government to do any such thing. It should be borne in mind that the conduct of the Government was complained of because they had not put down Government Business in anticipation of the abrupt termination to which a recent private Member's night came. Well, but now, in anticipation of only a small amount of private Member's Business to-morrow, the Government wished to put their Business on the Paper, and objection was taken to that course. There were obviously some hon. Members in the House, according to whose utterances in the House nothing that the Government could do would be right.


said, it would only be fair to hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House that it should be understood that no pledge was given on their behalf that the debate would conclude on Thursday night. Several hon. Members were desirous of speaking, and it would be quite time enough to deprive I them of their right when they had the clôture on Parliamentary authority. The Government first attacked the House of Lords, and then the House of Commons; and, however it might be with the former, the latter, at all events, were able to take care of themselves, and he, for one, should resist any attempt to bring the debate on the Prime Minister's Resolution to a premature termination.


said, he would remind the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Chamberlain) that the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington), on Tuesday last, had informed them that it was possible that the House might be counted out about 8 o'clock; and, as a matter of fact, it was counted, out at 20 minutes past.


said, he thought it would have been more convenient if the Government had put down the adjourned debate for Thursday, instead of to-morrow. As it was, it would be a great convenience if the Government would inform hon. Members after what hour they would not take the discussion to- morrow. As to the final closing of the debate and the division, he was sure there was no desire unduly to delay them; but the Government must recognize the immense importance of the subject they had thought fit deliberately to raise, and must be aware that there were still a great many Members who desired to express their opinions upon it. He himself had been so frequently attacked from the other (the Ministerial) side of the House for a few harmless remarks he had made a night or two ago, that he should like to have an opportunity of vindicating himself. He would beg the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary (Sir William Harcourt) to reconsider the point as to the day to which the debate should be adjourned.


said, he should like to know whether the Government had given their supporters privately any idea as to when they really intended to take the debate? The Clerk at the Table had read the Motion, "That the Debate be adjourned until To-morrow;" and surely it was not proper for the Officer of the House to put in the day to which the debate was to be adjourned. The first Motion should be, "That the Debate be now adjourned," and the day should be moved afterwards. He (Mr. Warton) would move that the debate be adjourned until Thursday.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "To-morrow," and insert the words "Thursday next,"—(Mr. Warton,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the word 'To-morrow' stand part of the Question."


said, hon. Members opposite were pushing the course of throwing obstacles in the way of the progress of Public Business beyond the point it had ever reached within the past few days. This, it seemed to him, made it more obvious that something must be done to facilitate the transaction of Public Business. When the Government wished to get on with the Business of the House, and to take advantage of any spare time which might be afforded them, they were met with Obstruction in this way. It was clear that something must be done to enable the Business of the country to be satisfactorily disposed of.


said, that the Government having decided that the debate should be put down for to-morrow, he, having entered a protest against that course, should take no further step in the matter, and hoped his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Warton) would not persist in his Amendment. At the same time, he was bound to say that the charge of Obstruction which had been made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had just spoken against Members of the Opposition was most unjustified.


I only said this Amendment had been made obstructively.


said, the right hon. and learned Gentleman's meaning evidently was that this Amendment, if it were persisted in, was one of Obstruction, and justified the adoption of the clôture. He (Sir E. Assheton Cross) thought the right hon. and learned Gentleman's observations were utterly uncalled for and utterly unjustifiable. On the other hand, the Government having said that they would put down the debate for to-morrow, hon. Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House would be following an unjustifiable course if they pressed their opposition any further.


said, that at the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Assheton Cross) he would, of course, at once withdraw his Amendment. The Government would be responsible for all the waste of time that would be likely to occur.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Debate further adjourned till To-morrow.