HC Deb 19 July 1899 vol 74 cc1341-2

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

MR. GRANT LAWSON (York, N.R., Thirsk) in the chair.

Clause 5.

MR. STRACHEY (Somerset, S.)

I think the Chief Secretary for Ireland should give some explanation of why he proposes to devote a sum of £25,000 a year more out of the pockets of the English taxpayers for the benefit of Ireland. I do not think that this sum ought to be voted sub silentio. When the right hon. Gentlemen opposite sat on this side of the House their great objection to Home Rule was that we would have to pay for it, and they made this a grievance with the English working man. Now that they are on that side of the House they are doing exactly what they condemned when sitting here. We should have some specific explanation of why this additional appropriation is to be made to the Irish tenants.


The amount at present granted to the Congested Districts Board is £6,500. The sum now proposed is £25,000, and the real addition to the income of the Congested Districts Board proposed by the Bill is about £18,000 or £19,000. The reason why we are asking for that increase is this. The board has been established for nine years, and the experimental stage is now over. The particular object for which the larger sum will be required is the purchase and subsequent improvement of the estates before selling them to the tenant. A large part of the money spent on improvements will be reproductive, but not in every instance.

MR. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)

I am sure my hon. friend does not intend to arrest the progress of this Bill through the House. I wish to assure him that in the end it will tend to relieve the taxpayers' pockets. One of the objects of the Congested Districts Board is to find a permanent remedy for the recurring distress in certain districts in the West of Ireland, and to try and relieve poor tenants and better their social condition.

Clause agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.