§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, How many notices of eviction have been served by Lord Granard on the Board of Guardians respecting his Drumlish (County Longford) property; is it the fact that the Government have sent some 100 police to the spot; and, could he state whether any of those families threatened with eviction have only recently been relieved by public charity?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said, that owing to the short Notice which had been given of the Question he was unable to supply any information.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I wish to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland a Question of which I have given him private Notice —namely, Whether his attention has been directed to the fact that evictions on a vast and increasing scale are being carried out in Ireland; whether the practice adopted by the Irish Executive during the administration of his Predecessor of inquiring into the merits of those evictions, and remonstrating with the landlords when their action seemed to be harsh and unjust, is still adhered to; and, whether, in view of the Report 699 of Lord Cowper's Commission, the Government would hold out some hope to the House that a stay will be put upon evictions in Ireland until after this House shall have had an opportunity of considering the Relief Bill now before the House of Lords?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I have only just got the hon. Gentleman's Question on my arrival in the House. My attention has not been called to the fact that evictions are going on on an increasing scale. With regard to the Question which he asks me, whether I shall continue what he alleges to be the policy of my Predecessor in inquiring into the merits of each case, and putting pressure upon the landlord according to the results of that inquiry, without giving an opinion of how far that is the most judicious course to be pursued by the official responsible for the government of Ireland, I have to say that it is our opinion the proper method of dealing with evictions in Ireland is by legislation; and if hon. Gentlemen will consent to pass the Bill now before the House within any period at all approaching in its length the period which has on similar occasions been taken previously by other Parliaments, the Bill now before the House of Lords will be able to pass through all its stages in this House in time, I believe, to prevent any suffering resulting from the evictions to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether he himself any longer gives attention to Irish Questions? I, Mr. Speaker, placed a Question on the Paper with regard to evictions on Lord Granard's property, where the people had been recently fed by public charity, and where they are now absolutely starving. Are we to be loft to the tender mercies of an Irish rack-renter; or will the right hon. Gentleman himself give some attention to the Questions that we put, and give us something like his mediation between us and this rack-renter? I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman, has ins attention been called to the Question put by me with regard to evictions on Lord Granard's estate, and in which I asked whether 100 police are at the present moment engaged in evicting men who were lately the subject of State charity, and who are at present starving, and which Ques- 700 tion was treated with contempt by the Irish rack-renter?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I understand that the Question now put has been already answered by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Under Secretary (Colonel King-Harman).