HC Deb 15 May 1889 vol 336 cc185-8

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


I am willing to accept all the Amendments of the Solicitor General for Ireland (Mr. Madden), and we might have a slight discussion about numbers on the Report stage.

On the Motion of the Solicitor General for Ireland (Mr. Madden, Dublin Uni- versity) the following Amendments were agreed to:—

Clause 1, page 1, line 10, leave out front "or," to "made," in line 11, inclusive; Clause 1, page 1, line 13, leave out from the second "is," to "holding," in line 14, inclusive, and insert— Which either adjoins such holding, or, is in the opinion of the Land Commission under the special circumstances of the case reasonably required for the suitable and convenient use and enjoyment of such holding. Clause 1, page 1, line 14, after "may," insert "if he thinks fit;" Clause 1, page 1, line 19, leave out from "except," to "direct," in line 20, inclusive; Clause 1, page 1, line 22, after "purchase," add— Provided always, That nothing in this Act contained shall authorize the making to any one tenant of a larger advance than that which the Land Commission is authorized to sanction to any one purchaser of land under 'The Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1885,' and the Acts amending the same. Clause 3, page 2, line 4, to leave out "twenty," and insert "ten."

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford N)

I very much regret that the Government should have introduced this Amendment. I think they might have left it for the House of Lords to do so. If you cut it down to "ten," some noble Lord is sure to get up and say, "Let us make it five," whereas, if you leave it at "twenty" the Lords will probably only cut it down to "ten."


Might I suggest that the Irish solicitor General should say fifteen," which would be ten Irish acres.


I think it necessary to introduce this Amendment for the purpose of safeguarding the action of the Bill, quite independently of what may be done by persons in another place. The matter has been seriously considered on its merits, and the Government are of opinion that the Amendment already goes far enough.


Might I suggest to the Government that they should take a similar course to that which they adopted last year, in reference to another matter. There was a dispute as to whether it should be £2,000 or £3,000. The Government accepted £3,000, but put in a proviso against interference with the estate as a whole. I would say leave in the word "ten" but add "unless in the opinion of the Land Commissioners it is expedient in particular cases that a larger amount should be granted." Perhaps before the Report stage the right hon. Gentleman could devise some words in that direction.


I do not like to state positively either one way or the other, but I think the case the hon. and learned Member mentions is not a case in point. I think the most workable plan is to consider what is the maxim limit, and, having laid that down, to allow the Bill to work within that limit. Of course, however, if the hon. Member puts down an Amendment on Report, it will be considered, but at present the Government consider that the maximum fixed by this Amendment is the highest that may fairly and reasonably be allowed.

Amendment agreed to.


moved the following Amendment—"Clause 3, page 2, line 5, leave out from 'except,' to '1877,' in line 8, inclusive."

MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)

I hope this Amendment will not be pressed. A tenant might have some hundreds of acres of mountain land which might not be worth 6d. an acre. Ten acres of such land would be useless to a tenant holding 100 or 200 acres of land, which is hardly of any value at all. If the Amendment were accepted, and the words. "Under fifteen" left out, you might fail to relieve those poor cases where relief is distinctly necessary, not only for the benefit of the tenant but for the preservation of the Government security.


was understood to say that if on Report the hon. Member would bring up an Amendment to meet the case in point, the Government would give it every consideration.


I hope my hon. Friend will put down an Amendment on report. It is now proposed to do in a small way what the Crofters Bill for Scotland did in regard to tenure. The Crofter Commissioners had power given them to add tracts of land to the holdings of crofters under tenure, and we propose that the tenants should have power to purchase these tracts.


I shall be glad to communicate with my colleagues on the subject if the hon. and learned Member will put down an Amendment. I will not close my mind on the matter.

Amendment agreed to.

Remaining clause (with Amendments) agreed to.

Bill, as amended, reported to the House; as amended, to be considered on Monday next, and to be printed. [Bill 225.]