Page 20, line 20, leave out all after 'hereditament,' and insert—
'But the occupier of a hereditameht shall be entitled to deduct from his rent an amount in the pound equal to one-half of the poor rate and county cess in the standard financial year.'"—(Mr. McKenna.)
§ MR. MCKENNA (Monmouth, N.)
The Amendment which I rise to propose does not in any way diminish the total grant from the British Exchequer to Ireland. I wish to state this from the outset, because my honorable Friend had a certain amount of suspicion as to the action of some of us with regard to this Bill. Nor does this Amendment in any way infringe the doctrine laid down by the honorable and learned Member for Louth. The purpose of the Amendment is very simple. There is a certain grant given in relief of Irish rates. I propose that the whole of that grant shall be paid to the tenants, and none of it to the landlords. I do not diminish by one single farthing the amount of the grant, but I do ask the Committee to accept the principle that the whole of the amount shall go to the relief of the rates now paid by the tenants—or where they pay nothing it shall go to the relief of their rent—and that no part of the grant shall be used for the relief of the rates now paid by the landlord. The method I have pursued is the exact procedure laid down in the Bill. I am quite aware that certain consequential Amendments will be necessary if this Amendment is accepted. I have not yet put them down on the Paper, until the principle of the Amendment is accepted. I have taken a standard case just as is done by the right honorable Gentleman in his Bill; the standard case I have taken is that of a tenant under a tenancy created under the Act of 1870—that is to say, a tenancy in which a tenant is entitled to get half the cess from his landlord. Taking that as a standard case the Amendment, subject to certain Amendments in clause 38 and in clause 74, will follow the exact procedure adopted in the Bill, and carry out a principle I have asked the House to 1597 accept—that the whole of the relief shall go to the tenant and none to the landlord. The right honorable Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland has stated that the fiscal arrangements in his Bill are essential to the existence of the Measure. Those arrangements consist of two parts. The first part consists of the transfer of liabilities for all fluctuations in expenditure—for all increases of expenditure—from the shoulders of the landlords, who now pay part of the rates, to the shoulders of the tenants. The second part of the fiscal arrangements is a grant for the relief of the existing burdens. I agree with him that the responsibility for the expenditure ought to be put upon those who have the votes; and, inasmuch as the occupiers in a great measure will have the control of the policy of these public authorities, to my mind it is most reasonable that the responsibility should fall upon those occupiers, or, if they can economies, that the benefit of the economy should fall upon them. My Amendment does not touch that part of the right honorable Gentleman's fiscal arrangements, because all I proposed to touch is a portion of the standard rate. All fluctuations of expenditure will fall upon the tenant under my Amendment, exactly as in the Bill. I have, it is true, in the Amendment, asked the Committee to accept the principle that the deductions should be made from the rent instead of the procedure in the Bill, that the rent should be increased by the amount of the deduction under clause 74; but we will come to that later on. There is a provision for increasing the rent in certain cases to an amount equivalent to the standard rate. I propose to put it on record that the standard rate is in the nature of a rent charge, that it should be stereotyped once for all as an existing burden on the land, and that we should recognize as a fact that land has been bought and sold subject to that burden, and that that burden, whatever it may be, ought to continue settled in amount. I would put it to the Committee that this method—which I suggest has this enormous advantage, that we once and for all get rid of the principle of making the burden on land vary with the expenditure—will open a way to ourselves for making burdens upon land vary with the increase or 1598 decrease of the value of land. The poundage should not fluctuate with expenditure, but with the value of land. When we come to the second part of the right honorable Gentleman's fiscal arrangements, the only question we have to consider is, to whom shall the relief under the proposed grant-in-aid go? The right honorable Gentleman the other day made it very clear that he did not consider it desirable that tenants who are now in a great state of distress should be relieved at the public expense in such a manner as to put champagne within their resources. I do not wish to raise controversial matters; I only wish to appeal, in the same way, that he should not pass a Measure which will facilitate the enjoyment of champagne by the landlords. The issue we have to meet is a very simple issue. We have to pay out of the British Exchequer at the expense of the taxpayers a large sum of money. We have to inquire strictly into whose pockets that sum of money shall go. Now that we have agreed that we will pay, shall we pay that money in the relief of the owner's burden on land, or shall we pay it in relief of the tenant's rent? That is the very simple issue—an issue the answer to which I do not think there can be any doubt about. We must not forget that the English Act on which this part of the Bill is based was introduced on the ground of the desirability of relieving agricultural distress. That was the ground—or the occasion, at any rate—of the English Rating Act. The agricultural distress in Ireland we may take to be a permanent factor; it requires relief far more than agricultural distress in England. The persons who are concerned in this distress in Ireland are mainly the tenants and not the landlords. I quits agree that the landlords have suffered in the matter of reduced rents, but their suffering is only a suffering in the reduction of luxuries. That is my view, at any rate. Theirs is, after all, a gilded poverty. We have had evidence over and over again that the suffering of the Irish tenant is such as to lead up to actual starvation. In relieving agricultural distress we ought to see that public money flows without fail directly into the pockets of those who are suffering distress, and are on the point of starvation, and not into the pockets of those whose finances are merely strained, and 1599 whose resources for luxuries are not what they have been in the past. One would ask what principle the right honorable Gentleman adopted in his Bill—the system or dividing the relief into two portions, half and half, giving the lion's half to the landlord, what reason is there for that division? He cannot show, upon his own principle that the burdens have fallen in this proportion on the different classes of the community. He has accepted that as a convenient division which will grease the wheels for the Measure in another place. Is that a reason why Members who represent Irish constituencies, and why we, who ought to safeguard the interests of the British taxpayers, should accept it? It is said that the burden on the land is an unfair burden. A burden by any increase of taxation may become an unfair burden, but it does not in the very least prove that the existing burden is unfair. I put it to the right honorable Gentleman that if I bought land last year in Ireland subject to a rate of 3s. 6d. in the pound, I bought it cheaper on account of the existence of this rate. It must appear clear to every honorable Member that, at any rate, so far as the amount of land that has been recently bought is concerned, the burden of the rates does not form a burden on the landowner, inasmuch as he has acquired the property at a reduced price on account of that burden. I would only appeal to honorable Members from Ireland on one other ground. It has been put forward that this Measure is giving to Ireland exactly what the English have got under the Agricultural Rating Act, and that they are, more or less, bound to accept this Measure as it stands as a compromise. It has often been pointed out that this is a righteous and just Measure, because it carries out exactly that which the English Act did. Now, in one very important particular, this Bill does not do what the English Act did. Two years ago it was thought righteous and just by the honorable and learned Member for Stroud to fix the Irish equivalent grant at £150,000. It is now thought righteous and just to fix the equivalent grant at upwards of £700,000. Does he propose to put the Irish on exactly an equal 1600 footing by paying them the arrears of the last two years? That is an illustration of the righteousness and justice laid down by the honorable and learned Member for the Stroud Division.
§ MR. MCKENNA
I wish to make an appeal to the right honorable Gentleman to lay before us, if he can, clearly and definitely any reason why the Irish landlords, as a class, should receive this money, why it should not be paid wholly and entirely for the benefit of the occupiers of the land, because to those occupiers it is of far greater importance than it is to the landlords? I appeal to him and to honorable Members for Ireland to remember this other point: that, to a very large extent, this money, paid to the landlords out of the British Treasury, goes into British pockets, being largely spent in Great Britain. So far as it is paid to occupiers every penny will go to Ireland, and will be spent in Ireland. If you really and honestly wish to do equal justice as between Great Britain and Ireland, I ask the right honorable Gentleman to accept this Amendment and pay the whole of this money into Irish pockets.
MR. T. M. HEALY
I rise to make an appeal to honorable Members that they will not lend themselves to this waste of time. Irish Members have a practical interest in this Bill, and have some hope that the matters of detail may be successfully dealt with, or they will find the Twelve o'clock Rule suspended, and will be compelled to stay here till two or three in the morning in order that full justice may be done to speeches of the character of that to which we have 1601 just listened, delivered for the nineteenth time. We debated this on the First Reading, at the Committee stage, and yesterday, and, in a way, to-day: it is the old game. I, for my part, on other occasions, have taken a considerable part in delivering speeches of that character. But in regard to the Bill everybody agrees that it is desirable to rise on Tuesday next, and as there Is no hope whatever of these speeches having any effect upon that clause you are simply driving us to sit till two or three in the morning, and all through academic speeches such as have just been delivered.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
I will not venture to occupy the time of the House a moment with regard to this Bill; but it was impossible to sit and listen to the speech which has just been made, which seeks to place the responsibility for the length of the Debate upon my honorable Friend who sits below me, without saying something. Surely, if anyone is responsible for the time occupied in debating this Bill, it is those in charge of it. It is the incapacity of the Government to deal with points of contention. In the last subject debated, after something like an hour and 20 minutes' discussion, they perceived that which any reasonable person could have seen at the commencement: In 10 minutes an ordinary person could have dealt with it. For that the Government was entirely responsible. My honorable Friend below me represents some English taxpayers, and he rises and declares it to be his opinion that if you are taking money out of the pocket of the English laborer to be paid to the people of Ireland it ought to go to the poor section of the people of Ireland, and not to the rich—not to the men who reside in England, in Monte Carlo, or in Venice.
§ An HONOURABLE MEMBER: Or in Cromer.
§ MR. BROADHURST
Yes, or in Cromer, decidedly. My honorable Friend, as an English Member, is perfectly entitled to make this protest, and English Members are perfectly entitled to support him in making that protest. 1602 You are apportioning poor law relief to a special industry. There are two sections engaged in that industry. One is the class that takes most of the profits and does none of the work; the other is the class that gets the least share of the profits, takes all the responsibility, and does all the work. Surely, that is the class that ought to receive this poor law relief, if any class receives it. For it to be said that my honorable Friend has obstructed the Bill, because he makes this claim and supports a sound principle, is a monstrous charge, and I sincerely regret that it has ever been made. If my honorable Friend, after this attack that has been made on him, thinks it proper to take the sense of the Committee—
§ An HONOURABLE MEMBER: Certainly.
§ MR. BROADHURST
I am delighted to hear it; if he thinks it proper to take the sense of the Committee I shall certainly have great pleasure in supporting him in the Lobby. I may say further, that we, who sit and listen and do our best to support the claims of the needy for assistance, do not think that our support will be facilitated by such attacks. I do not think the progress of the Bill will be facilitated by such a proceeding as this. I certainly had no intention and no desire to assist in prolonging the Debate beyond Tuesday night. You can finish it on Monday night if you like; so far as I am concerned you can have it to-morrow. If delay is caused the charge will be at your own doors Every Member of this House is entitled, by the fact of his election, to take any part he thinks proper in the discussion of any Bill, or any clause of it, or any subject that may be introduced. I sincerely trust my honorable Friend will insist upon his full rights, and that we shall not be beaten out of our rights by such proceedings as these. I hope the Government will not lend itself to this beating down of a man by cheering those who oppose him as they have done. I support my honorable Friend.
§ MR. LAMBERT (Devon, South Molton)
If there was one thing the Government said when they passed the Rating Act for England it was this: that 1603 that relief would go to the tenant. My honourable Friend proposes that this relief should go to the tenant, and now the Government do not venture to answer the necessary argument he has addressed to the Committee. I have always spoken in this House on behalf of the working farmer, whether it is in Ireland or in England, and I shall continue to pursue that course. But to tell us, as English Members, when we vote this money, that we are to have no voice—that we must not speak as to its destination—is a proceeding to which I most strongly object. Even at the risk of offending the honourable Member for Louth, I shall continue to do what I have done in regard to the Rating Act, and support every proposal that will give this money to the tenant. Who are the people who ought to benefit—the Irish nation or the Irish artisans from whom this money will be taken? It is the tenant; it is not the absentee landlord who lives in England or elsewhere. We have the additional argument that we are going to relieve the landlords of the whole of any future increase of rate. If all the future increase of rate falls upon the tenant, why should not the relief go to the tenant, in Older that he might better bear that increase of rating which must fall on him? If the Local Government Act is to be a success in Ireland—and I defy them to apply local government properly unless they spend money—that rate will fall upon the tenant, and that money should be given to the tenant in order to enable him to pay the rates. In the arguments used by the honorable Member for Stroud he said that the Land Act of 1881 had kept up rents in Ireland. If it has kept up rents it is all the more reason why tenants should receive relief rather than the landlords, who have their rents kept up by the Land Act. Another point I think is most important to this Amendment. We in this country were told that the Eating Act of 1896 was a rating reform—that it rated land at half. We know that; but in Ireland you are going to introduce that reform, and you have 22,000 fanners in Ireland, farming over a hundred a year and they will have to bear any increased expenditure that falls upon them through any extravagance that may take place through the action 1604 of these county councils and district councils. That being so, these large Irish tenants, for whom the Government seem to have no consideration whatever—though they are entitled to as large consideration as the rich landlords—will bear an increase in the rate. Therefore they are more entitled to this grant, which it is endeavoured to put into their pockets by the Amendment of my honourable Friend, which I certainly shall support.
§ MR. MENDL (Plymouth)
I beg to protest most emphatically against the conspiracy of silence between the Government and certain of the Irish Members on this Amendment. The only speech made in reply has been that of the honourable Member for Louth. The leadership of the honourable and learned Member for Louth may be satisfactory to honourable Members on that side of the House, but it is not satisfactory to us This is a question which concerns us who represent British constituencies, and we desire it threshed out at this stage. We have had argument after argument put before the Committee, and there has not been any answer from the Chief Secretary or any Member of the Government. That being so, unless the right honourable Gentleman replies, I think it is the duty of some of us on this side of the House to move to report Progress. I will do it if nobody else will. I beg to move that Progress be reported.
§ MR. LLOYD - GEORGE
I am surprised at the attitude of the Government with respect to honourable Members on this side of the House. My honourable Friend very fairly criticised the action of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and I do complain of his attempt to monopolise the right of discussion to one side of the House. Whenever any Member on this side of the House, who does not happen to agree with the Chief Secretary, ventures to make suggestions to the Government, the right honourable Gentleman says he is trifling with the time of the House, and the Government cannot take any 1605 notice of his proposal. For one, I protest most strongly against that attitude. When an Amendment was made on the Agricultural Rating Bill for England and Wales, an answer was given by the Member of the Government in charge of that Bill, and I will say this for the President of the Local Government Board on that occasion, that he treated Members on this side of the House with proper respect. Will the Chief Secretary for Ireland lay down the proposition that no one is entitled to make any observations on this Bill unless he happens to be an Irish Member? We have taken no part in the Debate at all so far as it relates to the machinery of local government in Ireland. We have left that entirely to Irish Members, not because we have no right to enter into the discussion of local subjects, but because we fully recognised that that was a matter with which Irish Members were more conversant than we were We have not, therefore, so far taken any part in the discussion of this Bill. We have not discussed it, and I will ask honourable Members sitting on the other side of the House if they seriously countenance the charge Thought against us by the honourable Member for Louth that we have at all obstructed this Bill even with regard to its financial clauses. In the course of two or three hours to-night we have already gone through two or three pages dealing with the grant of £750,000, and anyone conversant with the practice of obstruction in this House must have come to the conclusion that, however impotent the Liberal Party may have been to criticise the action of the Government in other matters, it has not been due to the fact that we are not able to keep up a discussion for two or three hours. I therefore say that we ought to have some answer from the Government. They are perfectly willing to depute the defence of their action in this matter to the Member for Louth. Very well; then what is the complaint of the honourable Member for Louth against this proposal? The proposal is that the money once voted should go into the pockets of the Irish tenants and not of the Irish landlords; and what is the answer made to that proposition? The only answer is that we want to rise on Tuesday next. Our action has been called contemptible 1606 waste of time; but surely, if there is any argument which is contemptible, it is such an argument as that because we want to rise on Tuesday next we are to vote £750,000 a year permanently out of the revenue of this country to go into the pockets of the Irish landlords. If the Chief Secretary for Ireland is prepared to go to a Division on that, and to rest the whole case for this permanent charge on the Treasury of this country on a defence of that character, I for one shall be perfectly satisfied.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I have not troubled the House or the Committee with any remarks at any previous stage of this Bill, and I should not have ventured to rise now except that I wish to say that the attitude of Her Majesty's Government—supported as it is by a certain section of the Irish Members opposite—is most unfair to those who sit on this side of the House and oppose this portion of the Bill. Now, in my view, at all events, and that of many other Members in this House, the portion of the clause we are now dealing with is the crucial part of the Bill, and the only clause this side of the House cares anything about. When once you have this part of the Bill settled, you may, if you like, take the whole Bill to-morrow or the next day. I say this is the crucial portion of the Bill. The right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary told us the other day that the money to be paid to the landlords was what he called a fiscal safeguard which was necessary to the introduction of local self-government for Ireland; and he told us that this fiscal safeguard was associated with the grant of local self-government to Ireland. That is the sum and substance of the only answer he gave when a similar question to that now before the Committee was raised on a previous occasion in this House. But why is the grant of money to the landlords being made an essential part of the question of local self-government for Ireland? The right honourable Gentleman has not explained it; he has not defended it. He is bound to explain and defend it. He is bound to tell us; but, in my hearing, he has not told us as yet why it is that this grant of money to 1607 the Irish landlords is an essential part of the question of local self-government for Ireland. Now, Sir, this is the chief Bill of the Session, I suppose there is no denying that. And this, in our opinion, is the most important portion of the Bill. And yet we have the extraordinary situation that the Minister in charge of the Bill has not even deigned to concede the usual and invariable courtesy of Members in charge of Bills by answering the reasonable expressions of objections uttered from this side of the House on the subject. Sir, I think that is the most extraordinary position I have ever known any Government to take up, and it will accentuate and deepen the disgust with which this proposal is being received all over the country. That was what the right honourable Gentleman Said the other day, and since then, on the recent occasions that this very proposal has been before the country, the country, so far as it has been consulted, has given no uncertain voice; and I say that the refusal of the Government now to explain what is meant by this proposition is deepening the feeling of dissatisfaction and disgust which exists in the country.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
Sir, it would be interesting to know whether the honourable and learned Gentleman who has just spoken expresses the opinions of those who sit on the Front Bench opposite. The honourable and learned Gentleman did not, I think, hold in the late Government the position of a Cabinet Minister, and, so far as I am aware, not a single gentleman sitting on that bench, who was in the position of a Cabinet Minister, has got up and disputed. or opposed the Central principle of this Bill—not one. I should like to know, for instance, whether the honourable and learned Member for Dundee represents the views of the Leader of the Opposition; I should like to know whether he represents the views of the right honourable Member for Montrose. No, Sir, the honourable and learned Gentleman speaks from that Front Opposition Bench, but he only represents a handful of Members of this House. It is useless, Sir, for the honourable Member to try to suggest that this part of the Bill is opposed by the honourable and right honourable Gentlemen 1608 with whom he generally acts; and it should be clearly understood that that is not the case. The opposition to the financial part of this Bill does not come from the responsible Leaders of the Opposition. If it does come from the responsible Leaders or the Opposition, why are they not here? Sir, the question raised by this Amendment is in all essentials one which has been raised many times over. The only difference is this: that the honourable Member who moved this Amendment, as I will show in a very few words, has raised it in a peculiarly absurd form. What is it that the honourable Member suggests? He suggests that the occupier shall be entitled to deduct from the rent air amount in the pound equal to one-half the poor rate and county cess for the financial year. What is it that the Government are doing? The Government Propose to relieve agricultural land of one-half the poor rate and one-half the county cess, and then the honourable Member actually puts on the Paper a proposition for deducting from the rent due to the landlord the other half. What it comes to is this: that at the very moment when the Government are proposing to throw the power in all matters of local administration into the hands of the occupier, the honourable Member takes this moment to propose not only to relieve him of part of the cess, as we propose, but of the rates.
§ MR. MCKENNA
The right honourable Gentleman is most extraordinarily unfair Sir, my Amendment comes in after the beginning of the clause by which the rates are for the first time put upon the occupier. I accept those words, and it is only as a proviso to that new provision which throws upon the occupier a burden he had not borne before that I wish to allow him to deduct the whole amount from the rent. That, under proper conditions, is in accordance with the provisions adopted by the right honourable Gentleman himself in clause 74. The right honourable Gentleman is wrong when he says that this proposal is almost identical with one that has been before the House or the Committee on a previous occasion. It has never been before the House, and it has never been before the Committee. Every preceding 1609 proposition we have had has been to reduce the amount of the grant from the British Exchequer by one-half, and I do appeal to the Committee to see that the money paid by British taxpayers should be used to relieve the distress of the tenants, and not go into the pockets of the landlords.
§ MR. S. T. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)
Sir, I have attended the sittings of this Committee pretty regularly from the first, but I have not up to this moment taken any part in the discussion. I do desire, however, before we go to a Division, to enter a word of protest against the conduct of the right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary, and against the remarks of my honourable Friend behind me, with whom on most matters we are delighted to agree. Sir, a great deal of the time of the Committee might have been saved if the right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary had condescended to get up to reply to my honourable Friend below me, who made a most excellent speech in favour of his proposal, and it is now clearly established to the Committee, first of all, that this is not an Amendment which has been properly discussed before; and, next, that the right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland has not taken the trouble to appreciate the Amendment. Now, Sir, I protest against the doctrine apparently held by the right honourable Gentleman that we upon this side of the House, especially if we happen to sit below what is called the Gangway, however reasonable are the speeches we may make, or however reasonable are the proposals underlying our Amendments, are not even to have the condescension of a reply unless some right honourable Gentleman on the Front Bench on this side of the House asks for it. Now, Sir, we believe very strongly in our Leaders, both ex-Cabinet Ministers and ex-Ministers who have not been in the Cabinet. But the doctrine propounded almost for the first time to-night by the right honourable Gentleman is that unless you are an ex-Minister you are not entitled to a reply at all; and, indeed, it is very doubtful whether you are entitled to a reply unless you are an ex-Cabinet Minister. 1610 Well, Sir, I have never obstructed business in this House, and I am not going to discuss this Amendment now, because it has been replied to by the right honourable Gentleman. But I should advise him, in the interests of this Bill, not to accept as a leader my honourable and learned Friend behind me; and I would also advise my honourable and learned Friend behind me not to arrogate to himself the Leadership, not only of the Government, but of this House, in this matter, if he wants this Bill to be carried through. He had better allow English Members and other Members from the United Kingdom, who are vitally interested in this matter, and whose constituents are vitally interested in it, without any lecturing on his part, to take a reasonable part in these discussions.
§ MR. LOGAN (Leicester, Harborough)
Sir, I do not intend to speak very long, but I do wish to enter my protest against being lectured by the honourable and learned Member for Louth, because, having conscientiously taken an objection to this money being paid under this Bill into the pockets of the Irish landlords, we have raised a protest. I listened to the speech of the honourable Member for Louth, and his anxiety to close this discussion at once led me to believe that he was rather afraid of what the result of the discussion might be. I think there is a great deal of truth in my impression, because I feel sure that the honourable Member's supporters in Ireland will fail to understand his action in this matter. What is the proposal before the Committee? The proposal before the Committee is, Sir, that this large sum of money, which is to be found principally, not only by the poor people in England and in Scotland and in Wales, but also by the poor people in Ireland, who wilt have to pay their share of it—that this money which is to be found, as I say, by the poorest portions of the community in England and Ireland, because the poorer a man is in these countries the larger is the share of the taxation he pays in proportion to his income—is to be paid over direct to the landlords of Ireland. My honourable Friend the mover of this Amendment simply asks 1611 that the money proposed to be given to the landlords should be paid to the poorest people in the world, the Irish peasantry. I need only say this, that, after the few years that I have been in this House, I am certain that I am not exaggerating when I say that honourable Members opposite, whenever they held as strong objections as we do to the proposition before the Committee, would not have been satisfied with making one or two speeches as we have done, but would have kept this Committee sitting for days and days whilst they were protesting against what they considered to be unjust. Speaking for myself, I believe this to be one of the most unjust proposals ever made in the British House of Commons. If I followed the example set us over and over again to-night by right honourable Gentlemen and by honourable Gentlemen opposite, I should take up the time of the Committee in explaining the kind of people to whom this money is to be given. Who is answerable for the condition of Ireland? The Irish landlord. And what does this clause propose to do, Sir? It proposes to shift from the shoulders of the Irish landlords the first charge upon any land which is for the maintenance of the poor people. If there is any such charge, it should be maintained for ever upon the land. It is that charge which provides for the maintenance of the poor people; and, Sir, I am speaking now on behalf of the poorest community in the world, the Irish peasantry. That they are in the condition in which they are at the present moment is largely due to the landlords of Ireland. The fact is written
§ large and plain upon the history of this country. They have depopulated the country, until to-day it can be said of Ireland, what cannot be said of any other country in the civilised world—namely, that the population has greatly decreased and is decreasing. "France!;" says an honourable Member, but in France the population is stationary, because the people are well-to-do. But, Sir, the condition of Ireland is a disgrace to this country. The Irish landlords are mainly responsible for that, and it is on that account that I for one shall protest to the end against this money being paid over to them. The Amendment of my honourable Friend suggests that if this money is to be sent to Ireland it should be sent to relieve the necessities of the poorest people there. Sir, in the name of the poor people who have sent me here, who will contribute a much larger share in proportion to their income than the share of the honourable Member on the other side who interrupts me—on behalf of those poor people I protest against either the Government or the Irish Members suggesting that we have no right in this House to protest against this iniquitous squandering of the taxpayers' money in this country, and loading the shoulders of the poorest people in this country with taxation which, in days to come, they will find it exceedingly difficult to bear.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 78; Noes 251.—(Division List No. 103.)1615
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Bartley, George C. T.||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Arnold, Alfred||Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Butcher, John George|
|Ascroft, Robert||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Beckett, Ernest William||Carew, James Laurence|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull||Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bethell, Commander||Cavendish, R. F. (Lancs, N.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch.)||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Bowles, Major H. F. (Mdsx.)||Cecil, Lord Hugh|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Brassey, Albert||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)|
|Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. Smith- (Hunts)||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)|
|Barry, Francis T. (Windsor)||Bucknill, Thos Townsend||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Heaton, John Henniker||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Henderson, Alexander||O'Neill, Hon. Robert T.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Pender, James|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Collery, Bernard||Holland, Hon. Lionel R.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Houston, R. P.||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Howell, William Tudor||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Commins, Andrew||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Purvis, Robert|
|Cook, Fred. L. (Lambeth)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cox, Robert||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Cross, Herb. S. (Bolton)||Jordan, Jeremiah||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kemp, George||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Curran, Thos. B. (Donegal)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Currie, Sir Donald||Kimber, Henry||Roche, Hon. J. (Kerry, E.)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Rothschild, Baron F. J. de|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Knowles, Lees||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Rutherford, John|
|Daly, James||Lafone, Alfred||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Davenport, W. Bromley-||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Saunderson, Col. Edw. James|
|Denny, Colonel||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Leigh-Bennett, Hy. Currie||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renf.)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Loder, Gerald Walter E.||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts)||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Spencer, Ernest|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Lowe, Francis William||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc.)||Lowles, John||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'T.|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Strauss, Arthur|
|Field, William (Dublin)||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Macaleese, Daniel||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Fison, Frederick William||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|FitzWygram, Gen. Sir F.||McCalmont, Mj-Gn. (Ant'm, N.)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Flannery, Fortescue||McCalmont, Col. J. (Ant'm, E.)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Folkestone, Viscount||McKillop, James||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Forster, Henry William||Manners, Lord Edward W. J.||Usborne, Thomas|
|Fry, Lewis||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gedge, Sydney||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Waring, Col. Thomas|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Warkworth, Lord|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Gilliat, John Saunders|
|Godson, Augustus Frederick||Milward, Colonel Victor||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Monckton, Edward Philip||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Monk, Charles James||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-und.-L.)|
|Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)||More, Robert Jasper||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Mount, William George||Wilson, J. W. (Worc., N.)|
|Gretton, John||Muntz, Philip A.||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Murnaghan, George||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hammond, John (Carlow)||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Wyndham, George|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Young, Com. (Berks, E.)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Myers, William Henry|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Sir William Walrond and|
|Healy, T. M. (Louth, N.)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Mr. Anstruther.|
|O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Holden, Sir Angus||Price, Robert John|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Horniman, Frederick John||Reid, Sir Robert T.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Billson, Alfred||Jacoby, James Alfred||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Birrell, Augustine||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Kitson, Sir James||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Brigg, John||Lambert, George||Shaw, Chas. E. (Stafford)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Burt, Thomas||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Caldwell, James||Leng, Sir John||Steadman, William Charles|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Strachey, Edward|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Colville, John||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Logan, John William||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Crombie, John William||Lough, Thomas||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Ghee, Richard||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Doughty, George||Maddison, Fred.||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Maden, John Henry|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethsh.)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Woodall, William|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hud'ld)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Woods, Samuel|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Moss, Samuel|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Norton, Capt. C. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gold, Charles||Owen, Thomas||Mr. McKenna and Mr.|
|Hedderwick, Thomas C. H.||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)||Broadhurst.|
|Holburn, J. G.||Pickard, Benjamin|
Page 20, line 25, after 'rate,' insert—
Except so much thereof as is raised as a separate item in respect of the excluded charges hereinafter mentioned."—(Mr. Hemphill.)
§ MR. SERJEANT HEMPHILL
Mr. Lowther, the Amendment which I now beg to move appears to me to be a very important one. It involves a different principle from that on which the Committee has just divided, and I may at once say that in moving this Amendment I speak only for myself. I was not a Cabinet Minister in the late Government, and I do not understand that there is in this House any distinction between Cabinet Ministers and ex-Cabinet Ministers.
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
I must ask the honourable Member to confine himself to the Amendment.
§ MR. SERJEANT HEMPHILL
I was just coming back to the point. If my Amendment is agreed to the clause will read—The occupier of a hereditament shall not be entitled to deduct from his rent any part of the poor rate, except so much there of as is raised as a separate item in respect of the 1616 excluded charges hereinafter mentioned, and any contract to the contrary respecting such deduction shall be void," etc.Now that, of course, does not at all trench on the principle which the Committee have adopted. They have adopted this principle, that the tenant is not entitled to deduct any portion of the rate in respect of such of that rate on the agricultural land as in covered by the agricultural grant in this Bill; but you are aware, Mr. Lowther, that under Section 40 there are a very great number of charges excluded, which will not be covered at all by the agricultural grant. Those charges are the expenses in relation to additional constabulary, which in some counties amounts to a very serious sum. A large grant is made from the Consolidated Fund to pay for the constabulary of Ireland generally; but where in certain counties, from the condition of the counties, additional constabulary is necessary beyond a certain limit, that is provided for out of the county rate, but is not covered by the agricultural grant. Another charge not covered by the agricultural grant is compensation for criminal injuries—for all the malicious injuries to property, such as the burning of haystacks, houses, etc., 1617 that may occur in bad times in various parts of the country, and will, no doubt, amount to a very heavy item. Besides, that, in section 41, the Bill provides that in estimating the sums raised by poor rate and county cess, and in estimating the standard rate the Local Government Board, on the Report of the Commissioner of Valuation, shall exclude such amount as they determine is to be taken as having been raised during the standard financial year for the purpose of any railway, tramway, harbour, pier, quay, or for any charge in connection with any work under the Relief of Distress (Ireland) Act, 1880, or any navigation or public health charge. Now the amount so excluded will come to a very considerable sum, and will be in no way covered by the agricultural grant. The tenant will, unless my Amendment is carried, have to pay the whole of the burden in respect of these excluded charges. That is the way I read the clause. It says—The poor rate shall be made upon the occupier, and not the landlord of a hereditament … The occupier of a hereditament shall not be entitled to deduct from his rent any part of the poor rate.The poor rate covers these excluded charges as well as the other charges, and I should like to know on what principle the old law, under which the rate was borne hand in hand by the landlord and the tenant, is not allowed to continue. Putting the burden entirely upon the tenant will, in my opinion, lead to such a state of things that I confess I approach this Bill with fear and trembling, because I apprehend that the increased burden which the struggling ratepayer of Ireland will have to bear as the general effect of this Bill, and more particularly of this clause, will be far greater and far heavier than any Member of this Committee appears to me to have at all realised. I beg to move my Amendment.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
Mr. Lowther, I think there are two matters which have escaped the notice of the honourable Member. The first is that most of these charges are borne by the tenants already, and the second is that, so far as existing tenancies are concerned, section 74, sub-section (a), provides that—Where the occupier is entitled to deduct from his rent one-half of the county cess, the rent shall be reduced by half the appropriate standard amount.1618 If he will turn to page 46 of the Bill, section 74, he will see that the clause provides that—An occupier of any holding under an existing tenancy shall, until the tenancy is determined, or a new statutory term in the tenancy begins, be entitled, notwithstanding any provision of this Act, to deduct from his rent the like proportion of any sum paid by him for poor rate, on account of any railway, harbour, navigation, or public health charge, as he would have been entitled to deduct from his rent on account of any cess or rate to meet the charge, if the provisions of this Act with reference to the deduction of poor rate from his rent had not been enacted, and in the case of existing charges as if the charge had continued to be raised by the same cess or rate as previously.Until the tenancy is determined, therefore, and a new rent fixed, the tenant is not affected. As regards rent fixed in the future there is a provision in section 41, sub-section 3, to the following effect—The provisions of this Act, with reference to the fixing of fair rents, shall not apply in the case of any item of the poor rate under this section.In other words, although the tenant will have to pay the poor rate raised under that section, the amount he will have to pay has to be taken into consideration by the Land Commission in fixing the rent.
§ Question put.
§ Amendment negatived without a Division.
Page 20, line 28, at end, add—
Provided that this section shall not apply to any city, borough, or town as defined in this Act."—(Mr. Dillon.)
§ MR. DILLON
said the Amendment had for its object to secure that the change in the incidence of rating proposed by the clause—namely, that the entire burden of the poor rate should be borne by the occupier—should be confined to rural districts and not applied to any city, borough, or town. It was the custom in the towns and cities of Ireland for half the rates to be paid by the landlord; but if the Bill passed in its 1619 present form, the whole of the burden of any increase of the rates would fall upon the occupier, in spite of the fact that that was not a condition of his contract of tenancy. That was his first complaint, and he could not understand how the Government could defend that provision of the Bill. In addition to that, he strongly objected to the Government using this Bill for the purpose of overturning and completely revolutionising the whole system of rating in towns in Ireland, and especially at a time when a Royal Commission was sitting to investigate the question of rating. He was strongly opposed to the system of throwing the whole of the burden of the rates on the occupier. The incidence of rating should be left as at present until the Royal Commission had reported.
§ SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
Some of us had intended on the clause to raise the question which has been raised by the honourable Member on this Amendment. But, Sir, as the honourable Member has stated, it may be more convenient to mention it on the Amendment than on the clause itself. The clause gives up for the first time the principle of the division of rates in Ireland between owner and occupier. It has been the policy not only of the Liberal Party for as long as I can remember, but also of the Conservative Party, as I understand it, on several occasions to look forward to the day when the rates in England would be divided between owners and occupiers. On one occasion, when I made that statement in the House on behalf of the Liberal Party, it was accepted by the Conservative Party, who stated that, although the manner in which it was carried out would have to be very carefully watched, they saw no objection to the general principle of the division of rates. It exists in Scotland in some degree; it exists in Ireland in a different degree; but it does not exist in England. I am quite sure that the right honourable Gentleman who has charge of this Bill must know that the policy of the Local Government Board, under both Parties an the State, has always been in favour of the principle of the division of 1620 rates in England, but in this clause we are giving up that principle. We cannot look upon this as an Irish question only. We are, I am afraid, parting with the chance in the future of dividing the rate in England between owner and occupier. This is not a matter which ought to pass without notice or remark in this House, especially when so great a change is being proposed.
MR. T. M. HEALY
May I illustrate the hardship which, this clause will bring about by giving my own case? I have a modest house in Dublin, the whole of the rates of which I contracted with the landlord that he should pay. The custom, so far as Dublin is concerned, is that the interior of the house should be maintained by the tenant, and the exterior by the landlord; but, in return for the landlord paying the whole of the rates, I undertook to keep up and maintain not only the interior but the exterior of the house. If this clause passes the landlord will be no longer bound to pay the entire rates, but I shall be compelled by my lease to repair the exterior as well as the interior of the house. What do I get in return? Absolutely nothing. There, for the first time, there is a Violent invasion of non-agricultural contracts, and the invasion is without any pretence of necessity. I understand that many honourable Members of the Government, including Lord Salisbury, are owners of house property in London. I put the question to them, either in their capacity of landlords or of tenants, "How would they like it if Parliament stepped in and made a provision in regard to rates such as is here proposed?" What makes this matter the more serious is the mysterious and mystic way in which this thing is done by clause 74 of the Bill. I venture to say there is not a layman in this House, and not half-a-dozen lawyers, who would understand clause 74, so mysteriously has the draftsman wrapped it up. It really is an attempt, if I may use a vulgar expression, to "blindfold the devil in the dark." Here is clause 74, sub-section 3, and I put it to any man in this House if it has any meaning—A person entitled, whether by law or contract, to deduct a sum from his rent, shall be deemed entitled to deduct within the meaning 1621 of this section; and where a person under the law existing at the time of his contract of tenancy, or under his contract of tenancy, is not liable to any cess or rate, he shall be in the same position under this section as if he were entitled to deduct the whole of that cess or rate from his rent.It is playing with us, it is playing with legislation, to bring in a proviso, and pretend that, of the 670 Members of Parliament, anybody can understand it, except two or three Members of the Government Front Bench, and two or three others. How can the effect of this section be ascertained? By turning to section 2, which says that—Where the occupier is entitled to deduct from his rent a sum less than one-half of the county cess or of the poor rate, as the case may be, the foregoing provisions shall apply, with the exception that a sum, bearing such proportion to half the appropriate standard amount as the amount he was entitled to deduct bore to half the county cess or poor rate, shall be substituted for a sum equal to half the appropriate standard amount.Consequently, when you come to sub-section 3, you must read it in this way—A person entitled, whether by law or contract, to deduct a sum from his rent, shall be entitled to deduct, not within the meaning of this section, but half the standard amount.When we assented to the Government's proposal, we assented to it only as regards agricultural land; we made no condition that we should be bound in the case of town houses, because we were dealing with conditions which had relation to agricultural land only. The answer to us is that the Government is reducing the franchise in the city of Dublin. Yes; but I passed a Bill in this House, five years ago, reducing the franchise all over Ireland, and is it not monstrous that the Government should bring in a Bill, and, with regard to Dublin and some other cities, say, "Oh, in regard to these cities, we will make this vital change in the incidence of taxation also"? But the Government have another answer. They say, "It is true you will be liable, but only if the rates go up: if the rates go down, you will be entitled to deduct from rent the appropriate standard amount." Really, it is foolish to give an answer like that when everybody knows the rates have increased, and will increase. To give us 1622 that cold comfort is only trifling with the time of this House. I am glad we have had in this matter the support of the honourable Member for the Forest of Dean. Our compact with the Government was solely confined to agricultural land: we made no suggestion, express or implied, with regard to tenancies in towns, and I repeat it is monstrous that we should be asked to pay this pries for an extension of the franchise.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The proposal of the Bill is one which, I admit, requires careful consideration by the Committee. The honourable Member for Louth has referred to what he called an agreement come to as regards the incidence of rates in agricultural districts not applying to towns, but the object of the Government in introducing these provisions has been simply to give to towns all over Ireland a very wide and extended franchise, and we considered that it was desirable to provide in the circumstances some kind of safeguard that the rates should not be unduly run up by the new electors.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
Yes; but if we studied every peculiarity of every locality it would be impossible to arrive alt the general principles of the Bill The course we have adopted seemed to us preferable to introducing the principle of minority representation; but when the tenancy has come to an end, and a new contract entered into, there will be no very serious hardship, as the tenant will be allowed a reduction which will depend upon the rate of the standard year.
§ MR. DILLON
I wish to know why the ground landlords of Dublin should be more protected than the ground landlords of London? The right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary appears to think that, because trouble exists in the rural districts of Ireland, he is entitled to give some protection to the landlords of house property in Dublin, Cork, and other cities, which he never dreams of extending to landlords similarly situated in English towns. But 1623 there is a stronger argument; for, in spite of the obstruction of the House of Lords, the franchise was lowered in Deny and Belfast; and these cities at present enjoy the same franchise, practically speaking, that you are now giving to all other districts in Ireland. I do not admit the proposition of the right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland that there is no mischief done where tenancies expire and new contracts are entered into, because you are setting free the landlords from all liability. In this, I think you are doing a great wrong. They ought to bear a fair share of liability—I should say the whole of the expense which, in, a great measure, is really for the permanent improvement of their property. It is a monstrous proposition that any increase on the rates should, in these circumstances, be thrown upon the shoulders of the occupiers during the currency of the tenancy. When we see the landlord being thus set free from the burden he has contracted to bear, we recognise that we are face to face with a monstrous injustice for which there has been not a single shred of reason given by the Government.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
I should like to point out that we have division of rates in Scotland. This principle was Introduced by the present Conservative Government, and was agreed to by the Liberal party. But here we are sweeping away the whole principle—
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
For no reason, so far as the towns are concerned. I appeal to the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, to reconsider the proposals of the Government, and to retain some shred of the principle of the division of rates in Ireland in order that we may some day have the opportunity of applying it to England. The reason given by the Government for their proposal seems to me to be no reason at all.
§ MR. FLYNN
I should like to point out that the first sub-section of this clause excludes the very people from whom the increase of rates is supposed to come. The first sub-section of clause 37 says—The poor rate shall be made upon the occupier, and not the landlord of a hereditament, 1624 except where under section four of the Poor Relief (Ireland) Act, 1843, it is made on the landlord as the immediate lessor of a house let in separate apartments or lodgings.Of course it is those who have separate apartments and lodgings who will form the bulk of the new franchise. The proposal of the Government is not only reactionary and indefensible, but it is absurd, and we ought to have some more reasonable explanation from the Government than has yet been given.
§ MR. JAMES CALDWELL (Mid. Lanark)
I desire to remind the First Lord of the Treasury of the discussion which took place upon the English Rating Bill, when the question of the division of rates was raised. On that occasion the question of the equal division of rates was raised, and the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury said the principle was accepted, and there was no dispute regarding it. The Debate did not take any lengthened form in consequence of that declaration of the First Lord of the Treasury. The First Lord of the Treasury is, no doubt, aware that the whole tendency of modern legislation, whether by Liberal Government or Conservative Government, has been in recognition of the principle of equal division of ratings. I do not know how far the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury will feel justified in proceeding in this matter, but I think we have shown sufficient reason why this question should be seriously considered before the Report stage is reached.
MR. T. M. HEALY
I would appeal to the Government for some answer to the questions we have raised. For the sake of three or four towns, in regard to the extension of whose franchise there is absolutely no controversy, the whole of the law as between landlord and tenant, is to be broken up. This is an anti-Conservative and revolutionary proposal, and it will come home to roost against the Conservative Party; it is, indeed, so revolutionary as to be absolutely unintelligible. It cannot be defended at all. Belfast and Deny have the franchise, and why should the citizens of these two town have contract protection because the franchise is being extended to the 1625 rest of Ireland? This is not a Party or sectional matter, and yet the Government are rudely closing the door against us in this way. We are not blaming the Government. There were various courses open to them, and they have considered the question under various aspects, some of which were not present to our mind. But when we point out objections to them the least we can expect is that our arguments should receive some attention.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I should not hesitate to accept the suggestion thrown out by the honourable Member for Louth to consider this question between now and the Report stage, if it were not that this kind of pledge is rather apt to be pressed too far. I quite admit that this is a difficult point. The argument of Scotland has been brought forward by several other honourable Members, and the honourable Member for Mid Lanark has referred to a speech of mine on that point. I do not remember the speech myself, but, of course, the whole framework of the Bill indicates that in several aspects we do not consider the case of Ireland precisely parallel to that of Scotland; and, therefore, I do not think the analogy of Scotland ought to be pressed too far. We shall give this matter our serious consideration, but I hope that pledge will not be unduly stretched should it unfortunately turn out that, in our judgment, our first thoughts were, after all, our best thoughts.
§ MR. DILLON
After the statement of the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury I am disposed to withdraw the Amendment. I do not think we ought, without sufficient reason, to be called upon to give up our old custom of dividing the rates between the owner and the occupier. That is a principle to which I am very much attached, and, therefore, I wish the First Lord of the Treasury to keep that in mind when considering the Question. I am not prepared to go to a Division, seeing that the First Lord of the Treasury has promised to give the matter careful consideration.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.1626
§ Upon the return of the CHAIRMAN, after the usual interval,
To omit the whole of clause 37."—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I propose now to move the omission of the whole of this clause, and I shall do my very utmost to steer clear of the discussions that we have already had upon the question of finance, and confine myself to the proposals embodied in this particular clause. I admit that it is rather difficult to do so because it is so much interwoven with things which have preceded it. But, as I understand the present law, it is different in this clause to the law in England, but there is a similar law in Scotland. The poor rate, as I understand it in Ireland, is—
§ MR. CALDWELL
I beg leave to call your attention, Mr. Lowther, to the fact that there are not 40 Members present.
§ [After a count, 40 Members being present, the honourable Member resumed.]
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
When I was interrupted I was saying that, as I understand the Poor Law in Ireland, the tenant pays only half and the landlord pays the other half. With regard to county cess, as I understand it, the whole of it is paid by the tenant. Now, it is proposed by this Bill to alter this, and it will be a revolution in two or three respects. The first alteration is this: that the half, gauged upon the basis of what is known as the standard year, is to be borne by the State. Not only this, but any increase for the future in the poor rate is to be borne exclusively by the tenant. Now those are two very revolutionary proposals, and I think we are entitled to call attention to them because the money is to be found out of Imperial sources, and I think, therefore, that we are at any rate entitled to say that we are no parties to any bargain of that kind. That is how the Bill proposes to deal with the matter. There is a third proposal in the Bill, which I think is a very extraordinary one. It proposes not merely that the whole of the present burden of the poor 1627 rate borne by the landlord shall in future be discharged by the State, it not only proposes that in future increases in the poor rate shall be borne by the tenant, but it goes to the extent of providing that in any contract altering the present arrangement between landlord and tenant, the landlord is to be treated as a person who requires protection at the hand of the State. Hitherto the tenant is not to be a free agent. Now, that is a complete change. It is a new principle introduced into this clause which is not embodied in any legislation introduced in this House either by a Conservative or a Liberal Government. This law says that no contract which the landlord enters into with his tenant—although it may form part of an equitable bargain—no contract of that kind is to be treated as valid. Now these are three very important changes in the law, and I think we are entitled to raise some objection to them on these grounds: In the first place, Mr. Lowther, because it is a breach of the principle laid down by the Government of identity of treatment. Now, we have heard a good deal about identity of treatment. That is a point which the Chief Secretary has, time after time, defended, but I observe in the criticisms on these financial proposals the principle of identity of treatment has gradually broken down. I am glad that my honourable Friend opposite is agreed upon that point, because it is really a very important point. It has broken down completely in regard to a very important matter which I simply alluded to in order to show how the Government have departed from the principle of identity of treatment. It has broken down with regard to the permanency of the grant which has tainted the whole of the operation of the Act. Now, with regard to this particular clause, it has broken down in two or three very material respects. With regard to Scotland, there all the rates are supposed to be divided between the landlord and the tenant. In Scotland, if the rates were paid by the State, and there was any increase for the future in the rateability of a district, or in the rating of a district, it was to be borne equally between the landlord and the tenant. Both had an equal share in the administration, and equal responsi- 1628 bility in the increase or decrease of the rates. Consequently the Government very naturally and reasonably said "if there is going to be an increase in the rates you must divide the responsibility, as you are jointly responsible. Therefore, we offer no inducements to any class to encourage the community to incur reckless and needless expenditure." That is a perfectly fair proposal. There was no class legislation as far as that was concerned, but it was holding the balance even between one class and another. What is the case in England? Why, the whole burden of the poor rate is borne by the occupier, nominally and ostensibly, as the President of the Local Government Board reminded us some years ago, when he had to support a proposal rather different to this in this House. He said that the ultimate burden of the poor rate falls upon the shoulders of the landlord. That is no doubt true in the long run, but, still, whether it falls upon the shoulders of the landlord or tenant, or, to some extent, falls pretty evenly upon both, at any rate, the Government did not propose to make any justification as far as the future was concerned, as far as the operation of the agricultural grant in England was concerned. If there was an increase, whoever the burden ultimately fell upon, the increase would fall upon those shoulders, and upon those shoulders alone. There was no attempt to discriminate between landlord and tenant, and so, if you increase the burden of the rates, the burden must fall upon one class, and one class alone. We go to Ireland, and for the first time in the history of rating, and in the history of finance, you have a proposal to discriminate between two classes, which also says that in future the whole burden of a particular rate shall fall upon the shoulders of one particular class, and one particular class of the community is to be exempt for ever from that burden. Now I question the right honourable and learned Gentleman, who, I assume, is in charge of this clause, whether he can point out a single precedent for any proposal of this character in the past; and if not, whether he can defend it upon its merits. There is one class which the Government propose to say to, as far as one rate is 1629 concerned—a very necessary and a very just rate, a very equitable and a very beneficial rate, which everybody capable of bearing ought, as a matter of duty, to take their share in paying, and I think it ought to be their honest pride to contribute towards the support of the poor of the community—the Government propose to say to the landlords "For the future we will not allow you to bear any portion of the burden of the maintenance of the poor." Not merely do they say this, but should there be any well-disposed landlord in any part of Ireland who would like to contribute his fair share for the future, if the rates go up, if he says "I prefer to bear my share," the Government say "We shall not allow you to do it." Was there ever such a monstrous proposal introduced into this House as that which is proposed to be embodied in this clause? Why should this special exemption be made in favour of one particular class, and why should the House of Commons go out of its way to protect itself against its own generosity, and against any deviation from the path of justice and liberality into which it may be diverted in the future? Why should the House of Commons do that? Do the landlords desire this at our hands? Now, I do not wish to say anything severe about the landlords in Ireland. Everybody knows perfectly well that whatever their sins may have been in the past they have very patiently borne their iniquities during the last 20 years, and those who have rack-rented the Irish tenants have been punished very severely during the last 50 years. Well, this is the first time I have ever attempted to defend the Irish landlords, and I do not receive much encouragement from my friends behind me to repeat the effort. I think they were encouraged, because it is rather pertinent to the issues which you propose to bring before the House. They were encouraged undoubtedly by the high rent in Ireland, and to reckless expenditure. They mortgaged their estates upon the assumption that there would be a fair margin, and they found rack-renting encouraged them to make these charges. Had they not done so they would not have charged their estates, because they would have provided for a certain mortgage 1630 whether the rents were just or unjust. But when the Land Acts came the margins were swept away and the landlords were left in a state of poverty and distress. Undoubtedly, whatever their sins may have been in the past, a good many of them have suffered severely. Therefore it is that I say I do not wish to enter into anything in the nature of a diatribe against the Irish landlords. But I think there is no man in this House who will not admit that, to a very large extent, the poverty and distress of Ireland has been attributable to the landlords of that country—the absentee landlord, the rack-renting landlord. I know perfectly well that there are good landlords there, but the poverty which exists in certain parts of Ireland is due to the policy which the landlords have pursued in the past with regard to their tenantry. Is there a single class in Ireland whom the Committee would point out as a source of Irish poverty more than the Irish landlords; is there a class more responsible than the Irish landlords for the policy which has been pursued?
§ AN HONOURABLE MEMBER: Yes, the public!
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I do not think that I will quarrel with my honourable Friend about that assertion, because, whether in Ireland or in any other country, it is equally applicable. But here is a class which is responsible to a very large extent; they, together with the publicans, are responsible for the distress in Ireland, and the Government singles out that class of all classes and says: "In future, not merely are you not to be liable for any portion of the burden of maintaining the poor, but we will not allow you to enter into a contract to undertake any portion of that burden." There is absolutely no precedent, and certainly no justification, for a proposal of this character, and therefore I propose that it be omitted from this clause. There is a second part of this proposal which I would ask honourable Members opposite how they possibly can defend: that portion which says that every contract entered into for the payment of the poor rate by the landlords shall be regarded 1631 as void. During the few years I have been in this House I have observed that if you want a proposal which trenches upon freedom of contract you may expect that proposal from a Conservative Government. We had it with regard to the Tithe Bill. Every contract between landlord and tenant for the payment of tithes—and, of course, the tenants in Wales are exceedingly anxious to do so—is to be perfectly void. The same thing was done with regard to the workmen, and now we have a proposal incorporated in a Bill emanating from a Conservative Government to render void any contract entered into by the landlords for the payment of rent. That is a very serious impingement upon the principle of freedom of contract of which I understand honourable Members opposite regard themselves as sole custodians in this House and out of it. How is this clause justified? We have heard no justification from the Government. I heard the speeches delivered to-night by the Chief Secretary, but he did not attempt any justification. He talked about Whitsuntide as if that were relevant. I beg the right honourable Gentleman's pardon, it was his leader, on this side of the House, and, of course, the right honourable Gentleman adopted and followed his lead loyally. But what is the defence of the Government? I venture to say that the Chief Secretary has not attempted any defence of this proposal, and we are entitled to have that defence. The only word of defence we have heard so far is that this is a bargain—a bargain in these terms: if you want an Irish Local Government Bill you must be prepared to pay the whole of the poor rates of the Irish landlords for all time to come. That is the only defence, but I should like to know the exact terms of that bargain, and who has entered into it. I am not at all surprised at the attitude of honourable Members for Ireland, but I should like to ask them whether they have entered into it, and, if so, whether they are free agents, and whether they are prepared to defend this proposal upon its merits?
§ AN HONOURABLE MEMBER: No, we are not.1632
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Of course, I knew they were not, and I would ask the honourable Member for Louth, who has so loyally supported the Government throughout, and whom I am sorry not to see in his place, whether he would be prepared to defend this proposal upon its merits if he were a free agent? But he does not, and cannot, pretend to do so. He says a bargain is a bargain. Quite so, and the honourable Member opposite, who is perfectly straightforward in his Conservative views, says of course it is part of the bargain. But what is the bargain? It is this: if you wish to receive the same measure of self-government that has been granted to England, Scotland, and Wales, you are only to receive it on a condition which you your self refer to as unfair, and which the Government themselves do not defend. Upon what principle is that defended? It is taking a mean advantage of a weak nation. It is taking a mean advantage of the Irish Members, and of the Irish people. They are not in a position to make terms with the Government. They know perfectly well that the Government are all-powerful. Honourable Members opposite say it is right and joist to give self-government to Ireland, but—
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
The honourable Member is making a Second Reading speech. I must remind him that the arguments which he is now using have been used repeatedly on previous occasions. I must, therefore, ask him to address some fresh arguments to the Committee, otherwise I shall have to call on him to resume his seat.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Probably I did not hear these arguments before, and honourable Members around me say that nobody else did. Of course, Sir, I accept your ruling upon the point, although it appeared to me to be perfectly germane to the subject at issue. This clause is a bad clause, and has not been defended by the Government. I was present throughout, the whole Debate, and not a single word was said by the Chief Secretary in defence of it. The only defence offered was in defence of the bargain, and it 1633 seems to be out of order to refer to the only defence which the Government makes. Still, if you rule any allusion to that bargain to be out of order, I am bound to accept it, but I still ask the Chief Secretary whether he has any defence to offer with regard to this clause, which is not out of order. He cannot defend it upon the ground that he is exempting one class of the community from payment of poor rate; he cannot defend it upon the ground of any principle with regard to freedom of contract; he cannot defend it on the ground that he is imposing upon the Irish people unfair terms, because that is what it comes to; he is using his power as the representative of the most powerful Government we have had for many years—a Government with a majority of 140—to force these unfair terms upon the Irish people. In conclusion, I say that this Bill confers no favour upon the Irish people; they are simply conceding what is an elementary right. We are willing to assist in conceding that elementary right, a right which belongs to every citizen of this kingdom, but we strongly object to this imposition of an iniquitous condition upon a nation too weak to withstand it.
§ MR. STRACHEY (Somerset, S.)
I should like to ask the Committee to consider this matter from a different point of view—from the point of view which has been urged upon both sides of the House—and I think it has also been urged by the Chief Secretary, but certainly it has fallen from the Treasury Bench—that it is most desirable that Irish landlords should take a prominent part in the future local government of Ireland. If that be so, and if Irish landlords take the same part in local government that English landlords take—if they are willing to face a popular election, then I venture to point out to the Committee that this proposal of the Government to set up a privileged class in Ireland—the landlord class—which is to pay no rates in future, will form a dangerous precedent. I cannot help thinking that when the Irish landlords appeal in the same way as English landlords appeal—and, I am glad to say, appeal successfully to the ratepayers of a country district, they will be met with 1634 the rebuke, "You are a separate class. You are not like an ordinary ratepayer. It does not matter to you whether the rates go up or down. Why should we return you as our representative when it will be of no consequence whatever whether our rates are increased or decreased." It seems to me that will be an argument which will be urged by every man who is opposing a landlord in Ireland. I know very well that those who are landlords in England would receive that rebuke, and they would have very little chance of successfully beating an opponent who opposed us on the grounds that they paid no rates and that they, therefore, belonged to a privileged class. The Chief Secretary dissents that there are some cases where English landlords do bear their share, but there are a number of landlords who do share the rates. And the right honourable Gentleman must know that all Scotch landlords do, and there is no doubt about it that there is no English County Member in this House who will get up and say that he would object to a Bill being passed in this House by which every landlord had to pay part of his tenant's rates.
§ MR. STRACHEY
But the honourable Member sits for Peckham—the honourable Member sits for a London constituency. I challenge any honourable Gentleman who sits for any county constituency to get up and say he would vote against a Government Bill to divide rates between owner and occupier. Gentlemen who sit for London constituencies may very well say that, but I challenge any agricultural Member to say he would object.
§ MR. JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
I shall be happy to answer the honourable Gentleman's challenge. I live in the neighbourhood of a great estate where the landlord pays part of the rates, but I never heard it suggested that that is an example which should be followed generally, or which would be generally beneficial.
§ MR. STRACHEY
I think my honourable Friend opposite rather misunderstood 1635 me. Will any honourable Member get up in this House, representing an agricultural constituency, and say that, if a Bill were introduced to divide the rates between landlord and tenant, he would vote against such a Bill?
§ MR. JOHNSTONE
It would be rather difficult to grasp the circumstances of such a situation at a moment's notice. I was merely speaking from my own experience.
§ MR. STRACHEY
I hope and believe the landlords in this House, on whichever side they sit, would be ready to vote for such a Measure as I have, indicated. I think the right honourable Gentleman said that one of the reasons why originally landlords in Ireland had to pay the whole of the poor rate in the case of tenancies under £4 a year, and why they had to pay half of the poor rate in other cases, was for this reason: As a matter of public policy in Ireland it was very desirable that Irish landlords should have an interest in giving employment to the peasantry upon their estates, and thereby keep people off the poor rate. It appears to me that, if this clause is carried, every inducement to the landlords for doing that would be taken away. There will be no inducement to give employment on their estates, and the poor rates will be increased by men unable to find employment. Under the old system, the landlord being a large ratepayer, it was a very great inducement for him to give employment and to improve his property. On these grounds, I beg to support my honourable Friend's Amendment for the rejection of this clause.
§ MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)
I protest against this clause in the Bill. The Debate upon this clause seems to me to be rather strange. We have seen some of those who supported the English Act who are now opposing this Bill; we have seen those who strongly opposed, in every part and in every particular, the English Act now supporting this Bill; and, strangest thing of all, this Debate has seen honourable Members of this House, whose whole existence may be said to have been taken up in opposing the landlords in Ireland, from such organisa- 1636 tions as the Land League, now advocating the giving of this enormous grant of money to the landlords.
§ MR. GODDARD
In order to buy off their opposition. We have been taunted on this side of the House by the right honourable Gentleman opposite for being nothing more than "a mere handful of Radicals." If we are only that, at least it is to be remembered that we are here representing constituencies, and that we have just as much right to speak on behalf of those constituencies as if we had seats in the Cabinet or on the Front Bench.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The honourable Gentleman has paraphrased my words. What I intended to convey was that the Liberal Party, as a whole, has supported us in the financial portion of this Bill on the First and Second Reading, if not in any other way, by abstaining from voting.
§ MR. GODDARD
I will not go into the question. I am not answerable for the consciences of those who sit upon the Front Bench. I am here to speak what is in my own mind and in my own conscience to speak, and I remember the words of the taunt that was hurled at us from the opposite side of the House—that this opposition was only supported by a mere handful of Radicals. Fortunately for us, we have memories that go a little farther back, and we can recollect that it was a "mere handful of Radicals" which started the avalanche which swept away the old franchise and extended the vote. And we can also remember that it was a mere "handful of Radicals" who protested against certain religious disabilities which prevented men of certain religious opinions from sitting in this House, and which caused those disabilities to be removed. I ask, how were these things done? How was it that "a mere handful of Radicals" achieved these results? It was not done by truckling to the House of Lords."
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
Order, order! The honourable Member is now travelling outside the limits of the discussion.
§ MR. GODDARD
I wish, Sir, to do everything perfectly in order in this House. I was simply trying to point out that the relief of the landlords from the poor rate was merely paying them a sum of money in order to buy off their opposition to this Bill. There are two distinct reasons why I support this Amendment which is now before the Committee. One is because I honestly believe that the day will come when the people of Ireland will resent this Act—when the growing burdens which will be thrown on the poor people of Ireland will cause them to regret that this Act was passed, and that their representatives supported it. Another reason is that many of these people have an ambition to buy their holdings. They live in the hope that one day they may become the freeholders of their holdings. Now, I appreciate that ambition, and I ask what will be the result and the effect of this Act if it becomes law? The effect will be that, when those tenants who wish to purchase their holdings come to buy, undoubtedly the price they will have to pay will be very largely enhanced.
§ MR. GODDARD
And, in the interest of the tenants of Ireland, I say it will be a mistake. If you remove a charge upon the land, it must and will enhance the price which will have to be paid by the tenant when he wants to buy his holding; whilst, at the same time, it relieves the landlords from a tax which they have paid in the past, and in common justice, ought to pay now. Upon those grounds I support the Amendment.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
I think the main objection brought against this clause is the fact that the Government has made it perpetual. In the case of two years back there was a limit put to it, and provided that the Liberal Government be in power at that time, and the House of Lords 1638 abolished, as we hope they will be long before then, why, of course, we shall repeal the Act without any hesitation. In this case it is made perpetual, and there is no similar prospect of relief to the toiling, starving poor from the burdens laid upon them to maintain the rich. That is the sum-total of our objection to this clause. The right honourable Gentleman has charged us with having acquiesced in this financial proposal by our having allowed the First and Second Reading of this Bill. We agreed with the Bill in the main, but we always said we disagreed with the financial portion of it, and we do so now, and that is the cause of the objection and the Amendment of my honourable Friend on my left. The Chief Secretary says, as I understand him, that he has made a bargain with certain Cabinet Ministers that there should be no opposition to this Bill.
§ MR. BROADHURST
What is it, then? I should like to have this matter thoroughly explained. There is an air of mystery about this bargain which we cannot fathom, and we, being free-born British representatives, have a right to know the terms of this bargain, when it was made, and with whom it was made. It certainly was not made with a number of my friends who are now here. This is the first time we have heard of the bargain and if it is a bargain we all know, subject to correction from my honourable and learned Friend, that the common law—at least, so I have always understood—protects the weak person against the strong in the making of a bargain, and if a bargain has been made by any undue influence and superior power the aggrieved party, who takes the matter into court, is generally relieved from his bargain for the reasons I have stated. What is the reason of this bargain of which we have heard so much, but about which we know nothing? I will ask the right honourable Gentleman to give us the chapter and verse of the terms of this bargain which he secretly entered into for the purpose of this Act. That will help us to understand 1639 how we stand in this matter. I am not an opponent of this Bill except so far as it dips the hand of the Government into my pocket to maintain unworthy Irish landlords. This is not a Conservative Measure in the highest sense of the word. A Conservative policy would pass such a Measure as would be best calculated to retain Irish landlords in their own country, and would keep them living among their own people, and take a share of the local government of their own country. This is a policy which only further induces them to take all they can get from their struggling tenantry, and to absent themselves from the country that they ought to dwell in. What would become of this country if the landlords here did the same? They are none too good, but they do take their share in the administration of the local government of the country, and by the fact of so doing they do—and it makes them do so—reside, to a large extent, upon their own estates among their own people. This is a direct invitation to pursue a contrary course; therefore it is not a Conservative policy, it is a revolutionary and misguided policy. There is too much bribery and robbing those who work hard to maintain themselves for the purpose of supporting those who do not, and who take no share of the responsibilities of the administration of their own country. Therefore I shall oppose this clause.
§ MR. COLVILLE (Lanark, N.E.)
challenged the Government to point to a precedent in former legislation. The clause was absolutely without a precedent, and what made it more intolerable from the standpoint of those who had regard for equity was that the proposal, instead of being for a term of years, was intended by the Government to be perpetual. He protested against the clause, and he would vote against it.
§ MR. M'LAREN (Leicester, Bosworth)
I rise with considerable diffidence to take part in this discussion. It has been suggested by the Front Bench opposite that only Irish Members and the Chief Secretary are to be allowed to participate in this Debate. My only justification for breaking in on that comfortable theory 1640 of the honourable Gentlemen opposite is that I represent a hard-working English constituency, which has to find the money with which this clause deals, and I do humbly submit that it is not out of place that I should approach it on behalf of my constituents. I do not quite understand the theory of the bargain that has been struck between a certain section of the Irish Members and what used to be known in former days as Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle, which, once upon a time, was looked upon as a kind of ogre's den, has now become a beneficent instrument for shedding the blessings of social and political amity upon Ireland. If would be interesting to many of us to know what has been the cause of this extraordinary transformation of Irish opinion. The honourable Member on my left has suggested "money"; and the old principle of Irish politics which has prevailed since 1815 is still to the fore—as long as they can have their hands in the pockets of English taxpayers it does not matter which Government is in power. As a representative of English ratepayers, I claim to have some voice in asking—what has to become of this money we are voting? As a Liberal and a supporter of the Irish Nationalist Party in all their political reforms, I have a right to ask why, on this occasion, they are deserting the Irish tenant in favour of the Irish landlord. That, as I understand, is the point we are discussing on this clause. As I understand it, the position is this: this Committee are voting a large sum which will be payable in perpetuity for Irish local government purposes. I would have imagined that the Irish Nationalist Members, elected by a suffering people, by the poorest class we have in the United Kingdom, would have made some effort to arrange the Bill in such a way that the Irish tenant would have the benefit of the money that Parliament is voting?. Instead of that we have seen Irish Members watching, with apparent satisfaction, a Tory Government voting money in support of the landlords in Ireland, and not only voting money, but adding improvements which make it impossible for the Bill to apply to the tenants. I have no doubt the Irish constituencies will inquire into the matter, and we may hear something more of this in the Irish newspapers. I have the 1641 right to say that English working men, English tradesmen, and English manufacturers, who are now asked for this money, and who are willing enough to facilitate Irish local government, are within their right in objecting to handing over, bound hand and foot, the Irish tenant to the tender mercies of the Irish landlord. I have nothing more to say except this: that that is a principle which deserves a full Debate in this Committee. I hope the Committee will not allow itself to be threatened and browbeaten by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. I have noticed during all these days in which we have been discussing this Bill that if any Irish Member gets up the Chief Secretary is only too anxious to listen to him and answer him in the most courteous and convincing manner; but if 20 or 30 English Members get up to discuss a matter which affects their constituents he maintains a contemptuous silence, only broken by the sotto voce interruptions of my honourable Friends. I do not know what justification he has, except that we are not represented on the Front Opposition Bench by any of our natural leaders. That is, no doubt, a misfortune which the Liberal Party have to endure, but I venture to think that the interests of our constituents are paramount to the interests of our so-called leaders. I cannot see why the absence of five ex-Cabinet Ministers affects in the least the principle we are discussing. No doubt it gives the Light honourable Gentleman a technical advantage. He may say, "Because your leaders take no part in this Debtae, it is not my duty to descend so low as to answer a common private Member who sits behind." That does not affect the question of the principle. Our constituents have to pay this money, and our constituents look to our votes and to our speeches in this House. It does not matter whether the Member for Monmouth is in his place or not. The right honourable Gentleman has a duty to perform, and that is to deal with the arguments advanced by the honourable Members who have sat down.
§ MR. LOGAN
I intend to oppose this clause. I regret that the Chief Secretary has not seen it fit and proper to give us something in the 1642 way of argument for passing this particular clause we are now discussing. I oppose it on behalf of the people of England and on behalf of the people of Ireland, too. Honourable Gentlemen opposite forget that the last time the people of England were appealed to—in South Norfolk—they were not on the side of the right honourable Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The principle contained in the clause now under discussion is class legislation pure and simple. It is class legislation of the very worst possible description, which relieves the just liabilities of the rich at the expense of the poor. What will be the effect of this clause in Ireland? The effect of it, first of all, on the Irish landlords, will be that in future they will be relieved of the burdens that they ought to bear on the land, and with this result: that should these local bodies which are now to be set up in Ireland develop in particular districts at the expense of those who occupy the land in Ireland, the land itself will be improved in value, because you cannot better the condition of the community without improving the value of the land upon which the commumunity lives. Therefore these Irish landlords, to whom it is proposed under this clause to make a present of a large sum of money, will not only be relieved of a large share of the burdens on Ireland, but will in addition have the capital value of their land increased to an enormous extent—first of all, by the relief from the burden of rating, and then by the prospective increase in the value of that land, owing to the improved condition of the people. My honourable Friend who spoke from this bench a few minutes ago was absolutely right when he said that a direct effect of the passing of this clause will fall upon those men who are wanting to buy land in Ireland. Personally, I am not strongly in favour of creating any more landlords. We have far too many of them. I wish to see the nation resume possession of the land. That is my opinion, and I am entitled to hold it. The direct effect of this clause, I say, upon intending purchasers in Ireland will be that they will have to pay an increased purchase money—the capitalised value of the relief which the landlord will receive under this 1643 Bill. What are the ostensible reasons which have been given to us for the passing of this clause? It has been hinted that it was to carry out some arrangement that was made with regard to English land. In the case of English land the relief given there was because there was supposed to be agricultural depression in England. Well, now, if the reason for giving this grant in Ireland is on account of agricultural depression, I maintain that the clause should not be passed in its present form. The most necessitous portion of the community engaged in the industry of agriculture—namely, the small tenant farmers and the peasantry—should get most of the relief under this Bill. Some honourable Gentlemen opposite suggested a short time ago that there was no serious depression, and laughed at the idea; but it seems to me that there is far less justification for passing a Measure of relief for Irish landlords than there was for passing one for the relief of the English landlords. The rents of the English landlords have gone down considerably indeed, but I should be interested to be informed whether the rents of the Irish landlords have gone down in anything like the same proportion. My impression is that Irish rents have scarcely decreased at all during the last 12 or 15 years.
§ MR. LOGAN
The honourable Member says they have been reduced by 30 or 40 per cent. The only authority I can go to is the Statistical Abstract, and that gives the rents in Ireland during the last 15 years, and the amount paid under Schedule B, which I do not suppose anybody will deny, represents the amount of rent paid by the tenants both in England and Ireland. Now, Sir, on referring to Schedule B, and the return for the 15 years ending in 1896, which I am told is the last return, I find that whereas the rental of land in England in 1882 was fifty-one millions and in 1896 thirty-nine millions—I am dealing in round figures—and in Scotland 7½ millions in 1882 and six millions in 1895, the amount upon which income tax was paid in Ireland was within £100,000 1644 of ten millions in the year 1882, while in the year 1896 it was only reduced by about £100,000. That is to say that during the last 15 years, while English rental has fallen some 25 per cent., there has been only the smallest reduction in the Irish rental, according to this Government return, upon which I believe honourable and right honourable Gentlemen opposite pay their income tax. However, Sir, this goes to prove what I have long thought, that there has been no serious reduction in the gross rental of landlords in Ireland, and it is the gross rental that we must deal with here. This grant is not to be given to any particular landlords. I have no doubt that there are some oases in which particular landlords have suffered very considerably during the last few years; but taking the whole of the rents together I maintain that there is far less justification whatever in Ireland for a Measure of outdoor relief to landlords than there was in the case of England. Well, Sir, so much for the question of agricultural depression. Then, Sir, the other reason, and I believe the reason which the Chief Secretary favours, why this Measure has been introduced into this House in its present form, is the particular clause which has been described as a bribe. If it is a bribe to Irish landlords in this House, I believe it was unnecessary, because the Government, by using their full strength in this House, at any rate, might have overridden any opposition from Irish landlords. It really is a bribe to be paid for passing this Bill through the other Chamber. Sir, I object entirely, apart from the question of who pays the money, to introducing into legislation of this sort a commercial bargain. The English Rating Bill, I suppose, was passed as a sop or bargain to the English landlords to assent to the Compensation of Workmen Bill. If the Government are disposed to carry out the whole of their legislation upon this commercial bargaining principle, I would suggest to them—and I wish the Colonial Secretary had been here, for I should have liked to make the suggestion to him—that for the abolition of the Veto of the House of Lords, they would be able to charge a very considerable price, for it would be worth a good deal, and we should be 1645 prepared to pay it. But we are not prepared to see the taxes on the poor people of this country increased for the purpose of providing money for Irish landlords as the price of this Bill; and therefore, Mr. Lowther, I protest against this clause, and shall have great pleasure in supporting my honourable Friend in the Division Lobby.
§ MR. BIRRELL (Fife, W.)
Mr. Lowther, in the absence of my natural leaders, whose absence from this House has been frequently commented upon, I can, as a Scotch Member, look upon the Lord Advocate as my leader in this matter, because when the English Bill was under discussion the one thing we prided ourselves upon was that in Scotland there existed an ideal system of rating, equal as between the occupier and the landlord, and one which was referred to as the ultima ratio in such matters. But here we have the Government introducing this Measure which proposes to take away from the landlords in the future the obligation to pay poor rates which, almost from the time of Elizabeth, have been cast upon the land. Well, all I can say is this—that if a country is not fit to legitimately and fairly raise the money necessary to provide for its poor, it is not fit to be entrusted with the powers which this Bill proposes to give to the local authorities in Ireland. I will not speak of a bribe, or use any offensive term of that sort; but everybody seems to be agreed that the landlords could not have justice done to them if local government was to be established in Ireland, which would leave them exposed to the same obligation that landlords bear in Scotland. Well, I confess that I think, if that is so, the Government are hypocritical in introducing a Measure of this sort at all, and in conferring upon a country these powers which they think can only be entrusted to them if the landlords are relieved from an obligation which from time immemorial has been cast upon them. We have always been taught by those to whose opinions we attach importance in these matters—and I am sure the Lord Advocate agrees with me so far as Scotland is concerned—that that old system is the proper way of managing the rating of a country; and I am sorry that Her 1646 Majesty's Government should have thought it necessary, once and for ever to depart from that salutary principle. The only consolation will be that the land, relieved from this natural burden, will command greater prices in the market; but even if we see, as we hope to see in Ireland, a greater number of occupiers who will also be owners, they will only obtain the privilege of being owners by being compelled to pay an enormously increased price for the land which they desire to obtain. This departure from the ancient principle of rating—which, I am sure, does not commend itself to any person in this House apart from the Government and some of their supporters on the other side of the House—leads to the inference that the Irish people are not fit to be entrusted with the powers which this Bill proposes to confer upon them.
§ MR. SHARPE (Kensington, N.)
I welcome this clause for the very reason urged against it by the honourable and learned Gentleman who has just sat down. It is a step in the direction of affirming the principle which many of us on this side of the House regarded as the basis of the Agricultural Rating Act that agriculture ought to be relieved of the burden, thrown upon it alone of all capital, of having the annual outturn of its whole raw material assessed for the relief of the poor. This was done by the Act of Elizabeth at a time when real property was the only property which could be got at, and when personalty formed an insignificant part of the wealth of the country. The Agricultural Rating Act commended itself chiefly to many on this side because it was a first step—a rude and rough one, it must be confessed, but still a step—in the direction of redressing a gross injustice by relieving the land in England and Wales of half the burden of a poor rate. I further object to the confusion of rates with taxes. Rates are local, and imposed by a local authority; taxes are Imperial, and to be imposed by Parliament alone. By the long-established custom of this country—save, and except in the anomalous case of the relief of the poor—rating is based on occupancy, not on ownership. My honourable Friend the Member for Carnarvon urged against this clause the argument that it conflicted with the 1647 doctrine of identity of treatment, or uniformity; and the honourable and learned Member for West Fife enforced that argument by the instance of Scotland, where rates are divided between landlord and tenant. The danger of legislating on this principle of uniformity was well illustrated by my late distinguished friend Sir William Gregory in a story which I will venture to repeat to the Committee. I was discussing with him the question of local government for Ireland, and the probability of Ireland being treated exactly as England had been. He said that he, some years before, had gone down to Devonshire on a holiday with Mr. Charles Buller, then also a distinguished Member of this House, and that on the Sunday morning, as they walked to the parish church, they passed two men in the stocks. Mr. Buller turned to the parish beadle, who was at the church gate, and asked "What is this man there for?" "Oh, sir," was the reply, "it is a bad case of wife-beat-
§ ing." "And what is the other man in for?" asked Mr. Buller, pointing to the second. "Well, sir," was the reply, "I can't say there was much against him, but we ran him in for the sake of uniformity." "There," said Mr. Buller to Sir William Gregory, "is shown the danger of acting for the sake of uniformity, without regard to the circumstances of the case." The Government have, in this clause, avoided that danger, and I congratulate them on affirming the principle that poor rate should be made upon the occupier, and not the landlord of an hereditament.
Motion made, and Question put—
That the Question be now put."—(Mr. Gerald Balfour.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 182; Noes 68.—(Division List No. 104.)1649
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Arnold, Alfred||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Ascroft, Robert||Cook, Fred. L. (Lambeth)||Henderson, Alexander|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.|
|Baden-Powell, Sir G. Smyth||Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch.)||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Hornby, William Henry|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Howell, William Tudor|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Daly, James||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. Smith- (Hunts)||Davenport, W. Bromley-||Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Denny, Colonel||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Drage, Geoffrey||Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George|
|Bethell, Commander||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Jordan, Jeremiah|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Bond, Edward||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Fisher, William Hayes||Kimber, Henry|
|Brassey, Albert||Fison, Frederick William||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Flower, Ernest||Knowles, Lees|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Folkestone, Viscount||Lafone, Alfred|
|Butcher, John George||Forster, Henry William||Lawson, John G. (Yorks.)|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)||Gedge, Sydney||Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)|
|Carew, James Laurence||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.)||Leigh-Bennett, Hy. Currie|
|Cavendish, R. F. (Lancs., N.)||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Loder, Gerald Walter E.|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)||Lorne, Marquess of|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gretton, John||Lowles, John|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Collery, Bernard||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Macaleese, Daniel|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Maclure, Sir John William|
|McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|McCalmont, Col. J. (Ant'm, E.)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|McKillop, James||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Pryce-Jones, Edward||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Purvis, Robert||Valentia, Viscount|
|Milton, Viscount||Pym, C. Guy||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Milward, Colonel Victor||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Waring, Col. Thomas|
|More, Robert Jasper||Rentoul, James Alexander||Warkworth, Lord|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Richards, Henry Charles||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Morrison, Walter||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Mount, William George||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Murdoch, Chas. Townshend||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Murnaghan, George||Rutherford, John||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Saunderson, Col. Edw. James||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Myers, William Henry||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Young, Com. (Berks, E.)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Younger, William|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Spencer, Ernest|
|O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert T.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'T.||Sir William Walrond and|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Strauss, Arthur||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||O'Keeffe, Francis Arthur|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Hogan, James Francis||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Birrell, Augustine||Holburn, J. G.||Perks, Robert William|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Horniman, Frederick John||Price, Robert John|
|Brigg, John||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jacoby, James Alfred||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Caldwell, James||Kilbride, Denis||Roche, Hon. J. (Kerry, E.)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Colville, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Commins, Andrew||Leng, Sir John||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Crean, Eugene||Lewis, John Herbert||Steadman, William Charles|
|Curran, Thos. B. (Donegal)||Logan, John William||Strachey, Edward|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||McCartan, Michael||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Davitt, Michael||McDermott, Patrick||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts)||M'Ghee, Richard||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||McKenna, Reginald||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Woodall, William|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Harwood, George||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Mr. Edward Morton and|
|Healy, T. M. (Louth, N.)||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Mr. Lloyd-George.|
That clause 37 stand part of the Bill.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 200; Noes 57.—(Division List No. 105.)1653
|Allhusen, Augustus H. E.||Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. Smith- (Hunts)||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Arnold, Alfred||Bartley, George C. T.||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Ascroft, Robert||Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Butcher, John George|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)|
|Baden-Powell, Sir G. Smyth||Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Carew, James Laurence|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bethell, Commander||Carlile, William Walter|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch.)||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cavendish, R. F. (Lancs., N.)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Bond, Edward||Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Brassey, Albert||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Howell, William Tudor||O'Keeffe, Francis Arthur|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hudson, George Bickersteth||O'Neill, Hon. Robert T.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Collery, Bernard||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Jordan, Jeremiah||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cook, Fred. L. (Lambeth)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. Wm.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Kimber, Henry||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Knowles, Lees||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Curran, Thos. B. (Donegal)||Lafone, Alfred||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks.)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Roche, Hon. J. (Kerry, E.)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Leigh-Bennett, Hy. Currie||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Daly, James||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Rutherford, John|
|Davenport, W. Bromley-||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Saunderson, Col. Edw. James|
|Denny, Colonel||Loder, Gerald Walter E.||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lorne, Marquess of||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Lowe, Francis William||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lowles, John||Spencer, Ernest|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macaleese, Daniel||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'T.|
|Fison, Frederick William||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Strauss, Arthur|
|Flower, Ernest||Maclure, Sir John William||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Folkestone, Viscount||MacNeill, John G. Swift||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Forster, Henry William||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)>|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||McCalmont, Col. J. (Ant'm, E.)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Gedge, Sydney||McDermott, Patrick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.)||McKillop, James||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Milton, Viscount||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Milward, Colonel Victor||Waring, Col. Thomas|
|Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)||Molloy, Bernard Charles||Warkworth, Lord|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||More, Robert Jasper||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Gretton, John||Morrell, George Herbert||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Morrison, Walter||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Hammond, John (Carlow)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Mount, William George||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Muntz, Philip A.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Murdoch, Chas. Townshend||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Murnaghan, George||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wilson, J. W. (Worc., N.)|
|Healy, T. M. (Louth, N.)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Henderson, Alexander||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Myers, William Henry||Young, Com. (Berks., E.)|
|Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Younger, William|
|Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hogan, James Francis||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Hornby, William Henry||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Colville, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Commins, Andrew||Harwood, George|
|Birrell, Augustine||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Crean, Eugene||Holburn, J. G.|
|Brigg, John||Doughty, George||Holden, Sir Angus|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Burt, Thomas||Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.|
|Caldwell, James||Fenwick, Charles||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Kilbride, Denis|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Leng, Sir John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Steadman, William Charles|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Paulton, James Mellor||Strachey, Edward|
|Logan, John William||Perks, Robert William||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|McCartan, Michael||Price, Robert John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|M'Ghee, Richard||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|McKenna Reginald||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Woodall, William|
|McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Mr. Lloyd-George and Mr.|
|Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)||Davitt.|
§ Clause added to the Bill.