HC Deb 23 March 1888 vol 324 cc190-2
MR. J. BARRY (Wexford, S.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Has his attention been called to the Resolution of the Guardians of Wexford Union, passed on Saturday last, as follows:— That we are greatly disappointed at the action of the Land Commissioners in only setting down 137 cases for hearing in this Union at the forthcoming Sub-Commission; whereas we understand that nearly 1,000 applications from this Union to fix fair rents were made before the 1st of November, 1887; and, when do the Government hope to announce their intention as to strengthening the Land Commissions?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

My at- tention has only been drawn to the Resolution of the Guardians of Wexford Union by the Question of the hon. Member. Her Majesty's Government will do what they can to hasten the hearing of the applications to fix fair rents.

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

said, this was about the 40th time that the right hon. Gentleman had promised that. He asked, would the right hon. Gentleman now give them some definite idea as to whether the Government in Ireland were waiting until the tenants' six months' period of redemption ran out, when their last chance of benefiting by the Land Act of the past year would be gone before taking steps in the matter?


The hon. and learned Gentleman is perfectly aware of the difficulty. He knows that it is not such an easy and simple matter as it looks to increase the strength of the Land Commission to the extent that is necessary. The Government fully recognize the importance and urgency of the matter, and they are doing their best to press it forward.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state, in view of the fact that four months have now elapsed since something over 40,000 cases have been put into the Land Court, and that they have done nothing to meet the emergency, when they will be able to do something?

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

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that Question, will he be kind enough to state for the information of those who are interested in this question—and they include every Member representing an agricultural constituency in Ireland—whether he can give the information required before the House adjourns for Easter?


I really do not know what answer the hon. Member expects beyond that which I have already given—namely, that I am doing all I can to press on the matter. That, surely, ought to satisfy the hon. Member.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

Can the right hon. Gentleman give us some indication of what are the difficulties standing in his way? Is it that there are not a sufficient number of applicants for Sub-Commissioner-ships?


In order to avoid attention being called to the subject by a Motion for the adjournment of the House, will the right hon. Gentleman state whether there are any more difficulties in the way of the present Government than existed in 1881, when means were immediately taken, after the passing of the Land Act of that year, to appoint a sufficient number of Sub-Commissioners; and, whether there were not more applications in 1881 than there are now in 1888; and what are the difficulties which the Government experience?


Obviously, I cannot answer the hon. and learned Gentleman's Question as to what was done in 1881 without Notice; but I think the hon. and learned Gentleman will see that there are necessarily difficulties in the matter. There are Treasury difficulties, and there are difficulties in appointing the necessary Sub-Commissioners—if, indeed, the method to be adopted by the Government necessarily consists of appointing extra Sub-Commissioners. But I am desirous, if I can, of finding some other method than that, and that necessarily causes delay.