HC Deb 21 June 1888 vol 327 cc938-41

Lords' Amendments to be considered forthwith.

Lords Amendments considered.

Page 1, line 10, to leave out from "consent," to "notwithstanding," in line 16, in order to insert "has been established by evidence satisfactory to the Court," the first Amendment, read a second time.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

said, there was one suggestion he should like to make, to add, after the word "evidence," the words "by repute or otherwise." The words "legal evidence" might be open to great differences of opinion. He thought the words of the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell) were much better, and that the Court should have that discretion it would have if these words were inserted, "by repute or otherwise." He admitted it involved a nice legal point.

Amendment proposed, after the word "evidence," to insert the words, "by repute or otherwise."—(Mr. T. M. Healy.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

said, the words standing were, "evidence satisfactory to the Court." He did not pretend to be a lawyer; but he thought that all that was required was that the evidence should satisfy the Court. One effect of inserting the Amendment would be to delay the measure, and that he was anxious to avoid, for he knew that in view of the Bill many appeals had been held over.


said, the answer to the hon. Member was that evidence before the Court must be legal evidence, and on that ground evidence by repute should be admissible.


said, he did not think the usual rules of evidence should be altered for one particular Statute, The Lords' Amendment appeared to him to be quite right; it required that the evidence should be satisfactory to the Court—that was to say, evidence that would ordinarily be received in a Court of Justice. He did not think that they ought to insert a provision altering the ordinary Law of Evidence on the point.

MR. MURPHY (Dublin, St. Patrick's)

said, he thought the point in question ought to be satisfactorily settled, and to give the opportunity for that he would suggest a postponement.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Murphy.)


said, it would not be with his consent the debate should be adjourned.

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

appealed to the hon. Member (Mr. Murphy) not to insist on that Motion.


said, from the respect he had for the hon. Member, he would recommend the withdrawal of the Motion.



Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Proposed Amendment to Lords' Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lords' Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment, in page 2, line 2, to leave out "equitable," and insert "under such equitable assignment," read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."


said, it was a most unsatisfactory course that these Amendments imported into the Bill by the Lords should be moved without there being any opportunity of judging the effect. He had always protested against such a course, and thought some little explanation of this Amendment was due to the House.


said, the Bill was in charge of the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell).


said, for his own part, he could not see that the Amendment made any change whatever; it seemed to him just a difference of phraseology.

MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

said, he thought it was a valid objection that had been raised. For his own part, he always objected to taking Lords' Amendments at such an unearthly hour; they were always alterations for the worse. He had never known the Lords improve a Bill. ["Oh, oh!"]


Order, order!


said, he might mention that he communicated with the hon. and learned Member for Longford (Mr. T. M. Healy) during the afternoon, and it was with the assent of the hon. Member that the Amendments were now taken. As to the Amendment itself, it was for the House to judge.


said, it was true the hon. Member showed him the first Amendment, and he said he would raise no objection to it, and he had kept his word; but, as regards this second Amendment, he never heard of it before, and he could not even gather what it referred to. Further, he did not know that there was a Member in the House who knew anything about it. Was it worthy of the House of Commons to pass a matter of the kind blindfold?


I may remind the hon. and learned Member that if he continues to object, the debate, of necessity, must be adjourned.


said, the Bill was in charge of the hon. Member opposite, but the phraseology of the Bill as it left the House, and as it would be with the Amendment, was present to his mind; and though he would give what explanation he could, if the House desired, it was a technical matter, and if there was a wish to postpone it for consideration the Government did not object. ["No, no!"] The clause, as it stood originally, provided that the word "assignment" should include an equitable assignment for the purposes of the Bill, and then went on to provide that the word "lessee" should include the person equitably entitled to the interest under the lease. The Amendments of the Lords left the first part untouched, providing that an equitable assignment should be included for the purposes of the Bill, and then went on to provide that the word "lessee" should include the person entitled under such assignment. Instead of the words "equitably entitled to the interest of the lease," they should be "entitled under such equitable assignment."

Amendment agreed to.

Another Amendment, in page 2, after "1888," insert, "The Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887, shall be read as if this Act were incorporated therewith."


said, he thought there would hardly be any objection raised to this.

Amendment agreed to.

House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before One o'clock.