§ MR. MAURICE HEALY (Cork)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in Ireland tenants who have had judicial rents fixed, and who hold under statutory terms, have no votes in the formation of Drainage Boards, though 886 tenants holding for terms of 40 years possess the right to vote; and whether, in view of the general indisposition of landlords, whose tenants have had fair rents fixed, to assume any pecuniary burdens in respect of land improvements, and the fact that a judicial tenant's interest is practically perpetual, the Government will assent to a Bill so amending the definition of "proprietors" under the Drainage Acts as to give to statutory tenants the same rights under these Acts as tenants who hold under leases of which 40 years are unexpired?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I understand the hon. Gentleman is in error in supposing that tenants holding for terms of 40 years possess the right to vote on Drainage Boards. The qualification is an unexpired term of 40 years. At present the burden consequent upon the execution of drainage works falls in the first instance upon the landlords. It would not be fair to give to the tenants the right of imposing this burden. If this difficulty were got over, I see no objection in principle to giving tenants the right to vote on Drainage Boards.
§ MR. M. HEALY
Will the right hon. Gentleman give his assent to a Bill for the transference of the burdens from the landlords to the tenants?