HC Deb 14 May 1890 vol 344 cc930-1

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire as to the terms of the charters or other instruments by which their estates in Ireland were granted to the Irish Society and to the London Companies, and as to the trusts and obligations (if any) attaching to the ownership of such estates, and as to the mode in which the sale of their estates has been effected, or can be effected, consistently with such trusts and obligations as may be shown to have existed, or now exist. That the following Members be nominated Members of the said Committee: —Mr. Clancy, Lord Elcho, Sir John Ellis, Mr. John Ellis, Mr. Elton, Mr. T. M. Healy, Colonel Laurie, Mr. Lawson, Mr. Lea, Sir William Marriott, Mr. John Morley, Mr. Sexton, and Sir Richard Temple. That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers, and records. That Five be the quorum.—(Mr. Akers-Douglaa.)

*(5.45.) SIR R. FOWLER (London)

I do not intend to oppose the Motion, but I wish to make one or two observations upon it. If hon. Members will read the list of names they will see that seven of the 13 Members of the proposed Committee are hon. Gentlemen whose views on this subject are very pronounced, and it is therefore pretty clear what will be the nature of the Report. The hon. Member for North Longford is one of the Members. I do not complain of that, for I have a very high opinion of his talent and legal knowledge; but I venture to think that his colleagues will follow his lead on this matter. Certainly nothing can come of the Committee's deliberations without legislation by this House, and I do not believe the Chief Secretary for Ireland is likely to bring in a Billon lines suggested by the hon. Member for North Longford. Again, I do not think any legislation will be proposed during the life of the present Parliament, but I beg to give notice that whenever it is brought forward I, or my successor, if I am not here, will resist any proposition to take away property which we maintain is held by legal tenure—a tenure which has been declared legal by the permanent Law Advisers of the Crown, who held office when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle was Chief Secretary, as well as under the present Government.

(5.47.) MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

I will not say anything as to the extraordinary attempt of the hon. Baronet to prejudge the decision of the Committee even before it meets. I desire only to ask if the Committee will sit to-morrow?

MR. AKERS DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)

I have made arrangements for that as far as I could. The decision does not rest with me.

Question put, and agreed to.

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