HC Deb 02 September 1895 vol 36 cc1539-40

On the Order for the second reading of this Bill,


said, he deeply regretted the Government had not seen their way to modify the 13th Clause of the Bill. A few slight changes in the clause would undoubtedly enable it to work immense good in Ireland; but he was afraid that in its present form it would, to say the least, fall far short of effecting a settlement of the unhappy difficulty of the evicted tenants. The part of the clause needing modification was Sub-section 3, which provided that the Land Commissioners, if they considered the farm as it stood did not afford sufficient security for an advance in aid of purchase, might make that advance on the tenant finding additional security. As the evicted tenant was entirely at the mercy of the landlord, and unable to make a free bargain, and as the only protection of the tenant was a check on the discretion of the Land Commission to make advances, he thought Sub-section 3 was a cruel provision. That was a most absurd enactment. What he wanted to particularly impress upon the right hon. Gentleman was, that the subsection worked not only against the evicted tenant, but also against the security of the State, because the State, after all, would ultimately have to look for the repayment of the advance to the tenant. What would be the end of it all? The men would not be able to live on the land, unless they were treated with some amount of mercy. He hoped that between now and to-morrow night, the right hon. Gentleman would consider the possibility of either amending the clause in the direction of the Land Bill of this year, or of striking out Sub-section 3.


said, he did not wish to discuss the merits of the Bill or of Sub-section 3 of Clause 13. He would only remind the hon. gentleman that the Sub-section was put in the original clause at the request of the hon. Member for Kerry, and acceded to by him (Mr. Balfour), who was responsible for the Bill. He had an appeal to make to hon. Members. They had been kept sitting—[Mr. DILLON: "I do not mean to divide"]—much longer than they anticipated they would be required to sit, chiefly by hon. Gentlemen opposite. He hoped hon. Members would not ask them to sit any longer upon a Bill which was introduced to please them, but would now assent to the second reading.


had no desire to oppose the Bill, on the contrary he should be glad to see it passed, but he was not sanguine it would do any good unless it was modified as his hon. Friend suggested.

Motion put and agreed to.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 19th August, adjourned the House without Question put.

House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.