HC Deb 14 February 1893 vol 8 cc1390-2
MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, under the Home Rule Bill, the contributions from the Imperial Exchequer to local purposes in Ireland is to be continued; and, it not, what are to be the securities to the British tax-river for advances under the Land Purchase Acts?


My answer is that the contributions from the Imperial Exchequer to the Local Revenue of Ireland will cease; but the Bill creates, in the first place, a first charge on the Irish Consolidated Fund in favour of the British' Exchequer for the repayment of any sums issued under the Purchase of Land Acts to meet the interest on the Sinking Fund for the Guaranteed Land Stock. The Bill further provides a summary method for the recovery from the Irish Exchequer, without any direct intervention of the proper Irish Authority, of any sums due to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom.

LORD GEORGE HAMILTON (Middlesex, Ealing)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury when he proposes to introduce the Bill to deal with the tenure of Irish Land, a question specially reserved for the Irish Parliament, which it is intended shall meet for legislative purposes in September next?


There is a casual error in the question. Of course the provision in the Bill does not refer to September next, when possibly, judging from the appearance of Business at the present time, Irish Members must be usefully occupied here. The Bill is intended to refer to September, 1894. My answer to the substance of the question is this. I did not, in addressing the House yesterday, signify any intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government to introduce a Bill with respect to Irish land. I do not think this is the opportunity for me to discuss the question whether the circumstances of the present moment are or are not the same as the circumstances of 1886 with regard to the important subject of Irish land. Nor Will I say either Aye or No as to the obligation of any Government to introduce, before the period when the Irish Legislature will be competent to deal with the subject, a measure here. But, undoubtedly, Her Majesty's Government have not signified and do not entertain any intention of bringing in a Bill in relation to Irish land to run contemporaneously with the present Bill.


The right hon. Gentleman stated yesterday, parenthetically, that the Irish land question is reserved for the Imperial Parliament. May I ask whether the reservation also applies to the administration and enforcement of the existing land laws in Ireland; and whether such administration and enforcement will remain in the hands of the Imperial Parliament, or be transferred to the Irish Local Assembly?


The administration of the land laws in Ireland would follow the usual course of the law in that country, and therefore it would he in the hands of the Local Authorities. In referring to the reservations to the Imperial Parliament, I should also have stated that there is an exception, the propriety of which will be generally recognised, and that is the fact that nothing will be understood to prevent the Irish Legislature from acquiring land under proper conditions for public usage.