HC Deb 27 November 1888 vol 331 cc317-8
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If there are Reports and Returns showing the final result of the Arrears Act of 1882—that is, how far that Act was, in practice, effectual in wiping off the arrears of the small tenants of Ireland, or to what extent it failed to do so; and, in case such Reports and Returns have been presented, if he will be so good as to indicate where they are to be found, and to state in general terms what actually happened in reference to clearing away arrears?

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) said (Dublin University)

The Land Commissioners report that the total number of applications received under the 1st section of the Arrears of Rent (Ireland) Act, 1882, was 135,997. The amount ordered to be paid was £812,321 4s. 6d. Under the 16th section 994 loans were sanctioned, amounting to £27,332 19s. 2d. A comprehensive Return on the subject was presented to Parliament in 1884 (Parliamentary Paper No. 4,059).


Did the Act wipe off the majority of the arrears of the small tenants?


I can give nothing in the way of figures to answer that Question. I can only show the extent of the operations under the Act. There are no figures to show the amount of arrears that did not come under the Act.

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

Did not the Act apply to the arrears of all tenants under a £10 valuation?


Yes, Sir.

MR. KILBRIDE (Kerry, S.)

Can the hon. and learned Gentleman say that half the tenants in Ireland got the benefit of the Act; and with regard even to those who did got the benefit it was only to the end of 1881, so that they had still left a gale of arrears?


It cleared off the arrears up to the year the hon. Member refers to.

MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

Will the Government give a Return showing the number of cases in which the landlords obtained decrees for arrears which had already been extinguished by means of this Act?


Such a Return would be absolutely impossible.


Has the Irish Office no information as to the large amount of arrears which was not wiped off by the Act?


We have, of course, general sources of information, derived from knowledge of what is going on in the country; but there are no figures that can be embodied in a Return.


I did not ask for figures; I only asked for general information.


Order, order!