HC Deb 09 June 1902 vol 109 cc101-2
MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, since the introduction of the Land Bill, agreements for sale and purchase under the Land Purchase Acts have ceased; whether the Government intend proceeding this Session with this Bill; and, if so, can he state when the Second Reading will be taken.


The Land Bill was introduced on 25th March. In the following months 888 applications for loans under the Land Purchase Acts were received, as compared with 992 in April and May of 1901. I should much regret the postponement of this measure until next year; I have inferred from what has been said in this House and elsewhere that the parties principally concerned consider the Bill, in some of its chief provisions, to be a practical step in the right direction. I doubt if it would be worth while to have a Second Reading debate unless there were prospects of compressing the remaining stages within a compass which would justify the expectation of passing the Bill this Session. That expectation can scarcely be entertained if the Committee stage must be taken in the whole House. The Bill, again, could not be sent to a Grand Committee unless it came within the definition of a noncontentious measure. I should be ready to confer with those entitled to speak for all the parties concerned with a view to deciding, before it is too late, whether the Bill now has, or could be given, that complexion without detriment to its essential provisions.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

May I ask whether, in view of the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman, he will move to discharge the Order for the Second Reading of the Bill, and not continue the farce?


Did I understand correctly that the Bill is to be referred to a Committee, the great majority of which are English and Scotch Members, and on which there will only be a handful of Irish members?


The whole thing is a farce.


If the hon. Member will confer with those who are interested as to the best means of facilitating the Bill, it might be passed. The usual course will be pursued.


Was not the Bill introduced for the purpose of influencing the East Down election?


I do not think that the reception of the Bill on the First Reading justifies the remark of the hon. Member.