§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £71,342, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Irish Land Commission."
§ *MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.) moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000 in order to call attention to the working of the Land Act of last year. During the passage of the Act, he said, they were told that they were going to have a new Ireland, that industries were to be revived, and that, in fact, immigration was to be substituted for emigration. But, instead, they had a feeling of dissatisfaction and discontent owing to the way in which the Act was working. They were promised a great electrical boom in the establishment of the Iveagh-Pirrie Motor Scheme, but before the end of the year they learned that the scheme had been, if he might say so, actually dead before it was born, and, instead of a spirit of confidence having been created throughout the country, dissatisfaction and discontent were rampant owing to the way in which the Land Act was being worked. It could not be denied that hon. Members representing the tenant farmers acted in a straightforward and conciliatory manner, being-ready to meet the landlord party more than halfway. They were prepared to put up with great defects in the Bill in order to give every possible chance for the realisation of the prophecy of the supporters of the Bill, and in order to give every opportunity of testing the sincerity of the landlords and their 'friends. It must be admitted that their National organisation in Ireland had not up to the present taken any precipitate action 985 whatever, notwithstanding that the landlords had completely spurned the conciliatory policy; on the contrary, the farmers had shown the greatest possible forbearance. What was the result? The landlords, instead of accepting the bonus in the spirit in which it was intended, viz., in order to bridge over the difference between them and the tenants, had increased their demands, exclusive of the bonus, by six, eight, and ten years purchase. In some cases they had demanded almost double the former value of their properties. He knew of one case in which the landlord, prior to the passing of the Act, was willing to sell to his tenants at nineteen years purchase, whereas he was now demanding twenty-six-and-a-half years, which, with the bonus, represented thirty years purchase.
§ The Land Commissioners were giving dissatisfaction equally to landlords and tenants. They had no regular system; they lacked cohesion and they were incapable. He knew of one who was actually unable to distinguish between a wheat and an oats crop in the end of July and was appointed Land Commissioner the following November. He believed he was appointed a Commissioner solely because he was a captain of Militia. Any Land Commissioner who happened to be a practical man was hunted about from pillar to post. In his opinion, the money at present devoted to the carrying on of the work of the Land Commissioners was really wasted; and he pointed to the remarkable fact that there was scarcely any difference in the rents, whether fixed in the Land Commissioners' Court, the County Court, or through the aid of valuers. It could really, he declared, only be described as the penny-in-the-slot system. It was quite a waste of time and money for landlords and tenants to go into these Courts; the thing had become a regular farce, for, whatever evidence was given and whatever inspections followed, it did not alter the thing one iota. The decisions were all arranged beforehand. Incidentally he spoke of Land Commissioners' driving round on their visits of inspection with land agents; and, turning to statistics, he showed that in return for the £180,000 paid to the Land Commission for the years 1902 and 1903 986 they had only a few estates sold and a gross reduction of rents of £49,637. This, he declared, was an extraordinary state of things, requiring most serious consideration.
§ With regard to the Land Purchase Act of last year, he thought the first question that would occur to the Irish Members would be what answer the Chief Secretary could give to the complete indifference and neglect shown to the evicted tenants in Ireland. Last year the most positive assurances were given by the Chief Secretary that the question of the evicted tenants would be attended to, and that it was the desire of the Government that the evicted tenants question should be satisfactorily and speedily settled. What had happened since? In the Return furnishel they found that up to 30th April forty-one evicted tenants had been reinstated by their landlords and twenty-four only had been reinstated by the Estates Commissioners, whilst the enormous sum of £2,252 had been handed over by way of grants. The Chief Secretary had said that owing to the uncertainty of the bonus with regard to the sale of untenanted land there had been delay, but, if that were so, why did he not get his amending Bill passed? He wished to draw attention to the Land Judge's Court in Ireland The tenants on the Westropp Estate in the county of Clare approached the Estates Commissioners with a request that they should buy up the estate. The matter was brought by the receiver's solicitor before the Land Judge's Court, and when it was explained to the Land Judge that the tenants were in negotiation with the Estates Commissioners, he declared that he would not allow this thing to go on, and that the tenants were mistaken if they thought they could go behind his back; and to punish them he put back their cases for a period of twelve months. He wished to know what the Chief Secretary and the Attorney-General had to say in defence of this attitude of the Land Judge. He desired also to know, what was the explanation of the increased prices of land to-day in the Land Judge's Court. How was it they had orders sent out that tenants must pay twenty-four and twenty-four-and-a-half years purchase when the average for the preceding year 987 was much lower? He wanted to know what the Estates Commissioners would do in cases where the landlords had offered to sell at reasonable prices of seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years purchase before the passing of the Act, and had now increased their price to twenty-four-and-a-half years purchase. This was a question of very great importance. What would the Estates Commissioners do in the case where a landlord was willing three or four years ago to sell to the tenants at twenty-two-and-a-half years purchase, and was only prevented doing, so, because the Commissioners refused to sanction the advance. Now that landlord was demanding twenty-four-and-a-half years, and again he asked what the Estates Commissioners would do in that case?
§ When a landlord in the West of Ireland desired to effect a sale, instead of allowing the tenant to go into Court for the second-term rent, he held out the bribe of an abatement of 5 or 10 per cent., in order to get the tenant to sign second-term judicial agreements, notwithstanding that the reduction must be seventeen, eighteen, or twenty per cent., and he would claim that he was within the zone of twenty-four-and-a-half years purchase, besides tacking on a year or two of the arrears. The complaint they had to make was that up to the present they saw the prices of land going up, and, as was prophesied by the hon. Member for East Mayo at the time of the passage of the Bill, all the coercion, intimidation, and obstruction was on the side of the landlords. What steps were the Estates Commissioners taking to safeguard the interests of the tenants? He thought they were perfectly justified in raising this matter. There was no doubt that the zone system was being abused and it was being abused for the deliberate purpose of raising the price of land. The surprise to him was that under the circumstances the people of Ireland had shown so much patience. He felt convinced that the Chief Secretary was anxious that this Bill should work satisfactorily, and that the measure which he initiated should do something in the direction of settling the great agrarian trouble in Ireland. That was an ambition which any man would be proud to attain, but in his opinion the 988 Chief Secretary was going the wrong way about it. All Chief Secretaries who entered the Dublin Castle ring came out of it discredited, and the right hon. Gentleman appeared to be giving too much latitude to the Dublin Castle party. If the Chief Secretary insisted upon Irish tenants paying unreasonable and exorbitant prices it would be the ruin of them and their families; he ought to put his foot down, and let the landlords see that they could not get this bonus tacked on to their exorbitant prices. If they wished the Land Act to bring the blessings to Ireland which had been anticipated, they would have to adopt another method and have the Act administered in a more reasonable and fair spirit. The purchasers ought to have some protection from the exorbitant and unreasonable demands made by the Irish landlords. He begged to move a reduction of this Vote by £1,000.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed. "That a sum not exceeding £70,342, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Cullinan.)
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
said the first comment he wished to make was the inconvenience the House was put to in having to discuss this Vote without the Report. The financial year of the Commission ended on the 31st of March, and if they desired any information for the purposes of this debate they had no means of getting it, and they were driven back upon the old Report of last year. That was a preposterous state of things and it was not fair to the House of Commons. It was not fair to any hon. Member who took an interest in the Irish land question to be compelled to go back to the year 1903 when he desired the figures for 1904. He was sure that the Chief Secretary would not deny that it was an extraordinary thing that they should be utterly bereft of the facts and figures of last year. The Chief Secretary ought to have insisted upon having the Report of that Commission before this Vote was discussed. It was not an extraordinary demand to make, and he pressed it now upon the Chief Secretary. It was quite natural that the interest in the land 989 question should be turned from fair rents to purchase of late. He did not wonder at that, but it would be a mistake if Irish Members, in their anxiety to promote land purchase, should forget what was going on in the fair-rent Courts. There was one aspect of the question to which he desired to draw the attention of the Chief Secretary—he should like him to tell the House the number of fair-rent cases which had been heard and disposed of during the past year. At present they had no means of knowing, and he should like the right hon. Gentleman to give them the average number of reductions of first-term and second-term rents, and also the number of Commissioners actually engaged in fair-rent work. He understood that a very large number of Commissioners and Sub-commissioners had been removed from fair-rent work and placed upon work connected with the Estates Commission. When they knew the number of cases which had been settled they would be able to see whether they had got value for their money.
He wished to call the Chief Secretary's attention to the question of appeals, in regard to which he thought the Irish Party had a considerable grievance. On the 31st of March, 1902, there were 12,680 appeals outstanding, and on the 31st of March, 1903, there were 13,082. He did not know how many were outstanding the year before that. When he pointed out that many of these appeals had been pending for five or six years the Committee would at once see the hardship involved. In the case of county Monaghan the Appeal Court had not sat for eighteen months, and in that county there were more than 1,000 appeals outstanding. The system worked badly in more respects than one. In the first place these farmers who had had their rents unfixed for five or six years did not know what their actual rents were. That was not a fair position to put them in, and their rents ought to be fixed in a reasonable time. It was all important that the farmer should know what his rent was, in case the landlord proposed to sell, and he had no means of knowing that if his case was outstanding on appeal. The result was, in more cases than one, that he was wheedled into consenting to take the rent as it stood at present, or as it stood before, and he thus was 990 induced to purchase on unfair terms. In addition to that it was not reasonable or fair that a farmer conducting his business should not know what his rent was. This delay worked badly for purchase and badly for the thrift of the farmer. It was absolute nonsense to say that an appeal on the question of fair rent should be pending five or six years. The Chief Secretary had tried his hand at improving matters and endeavouring to remedy the difficulty—he was not blaming him, but the system. He did not know the result of the new system of appeal. That was not fair. Why should a Member of Parliament be without this information? They were all interested in knowing how the new system worked. They had taken away one of the Appeal Judges from his work, and it was perfectly impossible that he should give the time to it he had done. He could not be in Dublin settling nice points of law that were arising every day in the Estates Commissioners' Department, and also in the country fixing fair rents. This was port of the new system. Then Mr. Co n-missioner Fitzgerald, who called himself a Judge, but was no more a Judge than he himself, was also an Appeal Judge. He should be glad to hear the result of Mr. Commissioner Fitzgerald's work, but the Committee would find that comparatively little had been done in the way of getting rid of the arrears of appeals.
He should like to make a suggestion to the Chief Secretary, though he doubte I very much whether he would accept it. He would like to know what were the proceedings going on under the old Land Act of 1896. There were, let the Committee remember, two Land Commissioners derelict at the present moment. They had nothing to do; though Mr. Lynch drew something like £3,000, and Mr. Murrough O'Brien £2,500. Would the Chief Secretary tell him whit was being done under the old Purchase Act of 1896, which these two gentlemen administered? If they could learn the number of estates sold under the old Act they would see what value they were getting for the £2,500 and the £3,000 paid to these gentlemen respectively. Why should not Mr. Murrough O'Brien and Mr. Stanislaus Lynch be sent out as Appeal Judges. 991 It would be an interesting experiment. If they were sent out together it was certain that fair rents would stand. Mr. Lynch would have one thought and Mr. O'Brien another; and the result would be the rent would stand, because they would never reach a conclusion. He thought substantial justice would be done in that case. At all events, let them know what value they got for the £5,500 out of the Irish Treasury—it was nonsense to talk about the English Treasury; it was the Irish Treasury—and if the Chief Secretary would not send them to appeal work let him find them some work they could do without doing mischief. It would not be easy, but let him try. He hoped the Chief Secretary would say what was the state of appeal business now. One strange thing he had been told was that the bulk of the appeals were not in counties like Antrim and Down, where there was excellent hotel accommodation. Living was rather pleasant there. The real difficulty was in counties like Monaghan [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Fermanagh]— No they were better in Fermanagh. The bulk of the appeal work was in the outlying counties, where the appeal gentleman did not like to go and lodge, and where living was not so pleasant of an evening. This business of appeal had really become so serious that the Chief Secretary ought to try and do something to settle it. The present machinery was not sufficient. He ought to devise other machinery.
The next matter he came to was the Estates Commissioners. He had no fault to find with these gentlemen, or their work, but he wanted information. That was what they were entitled to, though they did not get much of it. For example, he wanted to know something about the staff, and in order that that information should be useful they must know something about the work. Up to 30th April they had a Return. They knew what had been done up to 30th April. He wanted to know how the figures stood now. In the first place, how many estates had been actually sold by the Estates Commissioners, and had the money been paid and the transactions closed? Then he should like to know what was the position of the work at the present moment—that was to say, in 992 regard to how many estates were there applications, and what was the amount in money actually pending before the Estates Commissioners now? He should greatly like to know what the staff was—how many inspectors they had, because if the inspecting staff was not sufficient there would be interminable delay, to the great detriment both of the selling landlord and the purchasing tenant. He saw a representative of the Treasury present. He should like to say frankly that the Treasury was never too active in advancing aid for purposes like this in Ireland. He was not quite sure that the representatives of the Treasury at this moment were very anxious about the work at all, but he should like to say to the Chief Secretary that this was a matter which would not brook delay. If these applications were coming in at the rate currently reported, if there was a block at the present moment, as was currently reported, then it devolved upon him to see that the staff was sufficient to deal with that block and to have it removed. He knew that money was scarce. At all events, the representatives of Ireland had a right to insist on this. The Exchequer got £10,000,000 a year from Irish taxation, and the Government ran the country for £7,000,000. There was thus an Imperial contribution of £3,000,000. At all events, on the land question the Treasury could not only afford to spend money, but they ought to spend it. The House ought not to allow any excuse for this work being delayed in any shape or form, and as regarded clerks and inspectors, his opinion was that it was being delayed for lack of both.
Let him put another Qustion to the Chief Secretary in regard to purchase work. The Act provided for the purchase of estates by the Commissioners. He saw from the Dublin newspapers that some friction was already beginning between the Land Judge's Court and the Estates Commissioners. He saw that the Judge of the Land Judge's Court was developing a lofty idea of what his responsibilities and obligations were. Obligations to whom? He desired to know from the Chief Secretary to-night how many estates in the Land Judge's Court had been purchased by 993 the Estates Commissioners. He did not believe there had been one where the purchase had been completed. He did know estates that were in progress. There was one in which he was personally interested. He supposed it would be finished some time next century. It had been in Court since 1882. It went in a perfectly solvent estate. It was now bankrupt, and nobody had made a penny out of it except the lawyers. There were negotiations pending between the Estates Commissioners and the Land Judge, and he wanted to know what length these negotiations had actually gone. How much money had been paid on that head? He wanted also some figures with reference to the Congested Districts Board. It would be interesting if the Chief Secretary could give a list of purchases so far as the Congested Districts Board was concerned. There was a section in the Act which authorised the Land Commission to negotiate directly with the landlords for the sale of their estates. He wanted to know how much negotiation had taken place under that head. How many landlords had called in the Estates Commissioners to fix the value of their land with the view to sales? All these figures would be intensely interesting if the Chief Secretary could oblige the Committee with them. He would be glad, for his own information, and for the information of the people of Ireland, if the Chief Secretary would give an account of what was going on in all these several Departments, and especially in regard to the working of appeals, for he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that the farmers were exceedingly anxious on that point.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
said he took the somewhat unusual course of risingearly in the afternoon, not to make a set speech and not to preclude his right to speak again, but to answer a number of Questions which had been addressed to him by the hon. Members who had preceded him. He freely admitted that information in regard to a number of the matters referred to had only been brought down to the end of April in the Returns, and he agreed that it would be for the convenience of speakers who were to follow that he should give such further informa- 994 tion as he could put at their disposal. Therefore, the principal part of what he would say would be in answer to definite Questions addressed to him. He might say at once that he welcomed from the hon. Member who spoke first his concluding remarks, namely, that he was convinced that he (the Chief Secretary) wished this Act to work well. That was so, and in his answer he trusted that he might be able to give some reason for believing that the Act was not working badly. But there must be grounds for disappointment. Within a year of the passing of such a measure he did not disguise that the question of staff was a very pertinent one. They could not have the old rent-fixing staff going on on its old establishment, and at the same moment improvise a new purchase staff adequate for work which was increasing from day to day and from month to month. Many points in connection with the problems arising out of the Act required a great deal of careful consideration on their administrative side. They often required a legal decision on some abtruse question of law, but on these grounds they had not lost hope, if after some nine months the progress made under this Act had not been so great as had been expected. He wished to answer some of the Questions addressed to him, and he would make a full and frank confession at the very start. His own attention, in common with the attention of most people interested in the Irish land question, had been concentrated in recent months rather upon the purchase side than the rent-fixing side of the question, and he was not prepared, as in an ordinary year he might have been, to give very full information on the number of rent-fixing cases that had been decided. He noticed the complaint of the hon. Member for South Tyrone that they had not the Report of the Land Commission. That complaint had often been made, but he would ask hon. Members to realise that this was a very voluminous and complex Report and that it had to furnish very varied and very minute information upon numbers of matters carried down to the 31st March. To collect the statistical material for that Report was, with good fortune, an operation of two months duration and 995 sometimes more. Then it had to be digested and tabulated, and in the past it had never proved possible, as a matter of fact, to produce that Report before August. He had been urging the Land Commission on the subject and they were making their best endeavours to get the Report out at an earlier date, but it had not been possible to produce it before the 13th July. In response to very natural curiosity they had compiled reports dealing with statistics of the Land Purchase Acts brought down to the end of March of last year, and he had supplied other information. He agreed that it would be desirable that they should have the Report as soon as possible.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
asked whether the Report itself, which was only a few pages, and summarised the whole of the proceedings of the Department, could not have been issued at an earlier time.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that he might perhaps consider that for another occasion. Turning to the question of appeals he said he was glad to do so, because at the first blush the figures were on the face of them very discouraging; and it was only when they examined and analysed them, and when they considered that the provisions affecting appeals in the Act of last year had only recently come into operation, and when they made other discounts, that they were able to arrive at the conclusion which he urged, namely, that the provisions affecting appeals introduced into last year's Act were likely to work well. The hon. Member for South Tyrone had said that it was a very serious matter for Irish tenant occupiers at the present moment that their appeals should not be decided. The fact that they were not decided might lead them into making a worse bargain than they might otherwise conclude with their landlords. He did not think that contention was a very good one—[An HON. MEMBER: It is.] He would give his reasons. He was disposed rather to agree with the hon. Member for South Tipperary. He did not quite agree with the reasons the hon. Member gave; but he accepted his conclusion, which was that there was an 996 enormous waste of time and money in respect of all this fair-rent litigation. He thought that was so; and, in particular, in respect of appeals the waste of time and money was altogether out of proportion to the results obtained from these appeals. Who was it who initiated these appeals?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said these appeals were initiated by the landlord in 80 per cent. of the cases. It was perfectly true that if they took a number of appeals they would find something more of an equality, but that was because the tenant entered a cross-appeal. Unless he did so the only possible result was that his rent would be raised. This had involved a great amount of waste of time and money, which was deplorable, and for the sake of 2s. 6d. or 5s. variation he doubted whether any tenant was well advised in waiting eighteen months or two years to have his appeal heard, if he could enter into a bargain for purchase which he thought reasonable and proper. At any rate, the reasons which urged him last year to invite the House to deal with the question of appeals were, that he felt that they constituted an abuse and placed an enormous and unnecessary tax on the agricultural community in Ireland. If he took the year to 30th June, 1903, the number of outstanding appeals was 13,252; and if he took the year to 30th June last there was not a diminution but an increase, the number being 13,700, an increase of 448. They must look at that matter a little bit more closely. Of course the provisions of the Act of last year could scarcely have been expected to operate effectively during the whole of the period which had elapsed since then; and if they turned, not so much to the numbers outstanding as to the numbers which had been lodged, they would find that the figures were of a more promising description. In the year to 30th June, 1903, 4,979 were lodged; in the year to 30th June last, 4,422. But let them take the six months to June last year and to June this year. In respect of the first period the number lodged was 2,816, and to the second 1,790, and let them take the three months up to these two dates, and they would 997 find that last year the number lodged was 1,280 and this year 789.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he was only giving the information asked for. With these figures before them there was a great deal of ground for saying that there was continuous progress, and that the provisions put into the Act of last year which were intended to discourage unnecessary litigation were having that effect. He had no doubt that it would be possible to operate upon that continuous diminution, and that they would, he hoped in no very long time, diminish the number of these outstanding appeals. But he frankly confessed to the Committee that it was not possible to start at a high establishment the work of furthering appeals, the work for fixing fair rents in the first instance, and the work for purchase. He did not think that could be done. He made no complaint, he need scarcely say, of the treatment which he had received at the hands of the Treasury during the year. But money had been very scarce. He thought it reasonable, in view of certain prophecies put forward soon after they passed the Act of last year to the effect that there was much cry and little wool, and that there would be no transactions, to show that the Act was working before claiming that a large staff of salaried officials, who were permanent civil servants and entitled to pensions, should be created. Supposing these ill-omened prophecies had proved true, they might have saddled the Estimates with £20,000 or £30,000 a year paid to gentlemen who would be doing very little. The original indoor staff on the purchase side embraced thirty-one persons with salaries amounting to £10,760 a year. Since then there had been added two assistant examiners, one first-class clerk, two second-class clerks, twelve second-division clerks, a managing clerk and twenty-two abstractors, while the amount of salaries had been increased to £13,770. The outdoor staff was also very important. At the beginning, before the estates came in, he was not in a position to claim that there should be a great number of inspectors sitting in Dublin when there was 998 no call for their services to the country districts of Ireland. Originally in November arrangements were made for eleven inspectors, whose salaries amounted to £8,800 a year and two surveyors with salaries amounting to £240 a year, but he arranged in March last for six more inspectors and five temporary inspectors, temporary in the sense that their places would be taken in October by inspectors from the rent-fixing department, also for four assistant inspectors, and ten surveyors, so that at the present moment the salaries of officials engaged solely in purchase work amounted to £34,300 a year. He did not think that could be called a niggardly provision. Of course the staff would not have been increased unless he had been able to show that the work of land purchase was also increasing.
Again, at the outset, he frankly confessed that he had been personally disappointed at the little progress which they had succeeded in making in respect to two of the most important objects of the Act namely, congestion and the reinstatement of evicted tenants. That was to him a matter of personal disappointment. He had been accused that afternoon of not having displayed sufficient energy in finding time for the stages of the amending Land Bill, but he would ask hon. Members, in whatever quarter of the House they sat. to cast their minds back over the last few weeks and months, and to say whether the opportunities for legislation had been very large; because he did not think in all his experience, with the possible exception of the year 1893, he recollected a year in which the obstacles to legislation had been so many and so large. It was his earnest desire to pass the Bill, and it was put down for Friday. It was clear that unless the bonus were attached to untenanted land it was all but impossible to make any practical advance in dealing with that question. There had been occasions when arrangements could be made upon this or that property, but unless the Estates Commissioners could have some land in their hands, so to speak, to play with they would not be able to deal with the question satisfactorily. His instructions to the Estates Commissioners had been that they should make 999 a point of endeavouring to deal with the question of evicted tenants.
MR. ROCHE (Galway, E.)
asked whether they were to understand that untenanted land did not carry a bonus at present.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that it was a matter of some doubt after certain judicial observations. If a bonus were needed for tenanted land, it was needed still more for untenanted land, because the value of untenanted land was often greater than tenanted land. They did not, of course, wish that the tenants to whom they were going to sell untenanted land should pay higher annual instalments than those who were actually occupying land. They proposed to reinstate men who had not been farming for some years, and who were not overburdened with capital. It was idle to suppose that they would have a chance, or that the money of the taxpayer would be secured, unless they got such land upon such terms which would enable them to have some hope of success. The bonus was absolutely essential in the case of untenanted land. The Congested Districts Board had been able to buy a certain amount of untenanted land; but that had only been possible by his taking a great deal of responsibility upon himself, and promising that if Parliament did not pass the Bill he would take the money out of the Congested Districts Board's funds. The Estates Commissioners were not able to buy untenanted land in that way, because they had no funds. They were, of course, I buying as cheaply as they could; but they did not think it wise to endeavour to force people, who came forward in good faith, to sell untenanted land which was a very valuable asset in Ireland. There seemed to be an idea in some quarters that extraordinary pressure was going to be used in order to force landlords to sell untenanted land. It was not desired to buy in any land at less than the market value, and they could well afford to purchase it at a fair price. The object he hoped to achieve by getting untenanted land was an object for which money could be well devoted. The Estates Commissioners had been able to deal with evicted tenants. To the 1000 knowledge of the Commissioners fifty tenants had been put back by the landlords, and many more might have been. Twenty-four had been reinstated by the Estates Commissioners, and they were in treaty to restore twenty more. The amount of untenanted land purchased had been 3,293 acres.
Undue importance, he thought, had been attached to the number of transactions which had been actually concluded. It was obvious that when the Act had only been in operation for nine months a number of transactions, which were sure to be concluded in the course of a few weeks or months, were not concluded at present. It took a certain number of months to finish these complicated operations. If they simply took the number of holdings and the amount of money involved, they would form an entirely erroneous idea of the amount of success which had attended the operations. To argue on the amount of money which had been advanced up to the present would be most irrational. With reference to the amount of business transacted between the Estates Commissioners and the Land Judge, advances had been applied for in respect of twenty-eight estates embracing 987 holdings and involving £301,680. In addition, requests had been issued in respect to nineteen other estates. He agreed it was pertinent to ask whether any transactions had been finished. As a matter of fact, advances had been sanctioned in respect of nine estates embracing 194 holdings and involving £67,000 odd. Under Section 6, advances had been applied for in respect of twenty-six estates embracing 2,403 holdings, involving advances of £678,458. In addition to those, other proceedings were pending in respect of eleven other estates. The hon. Member for Waterford seemed to be disappointed that the number was not larger. It was not a very large one, but at the outset of all the discussions on land purchase, all parties concerned—landlords, tenants, hon. Members representing Irish constituencies on the opposite side of the House, and hon. Members also representing Ireland on the Unionist side of the House—were at one in impressing upon him the great desirability of not making much use of that section, but of proceeding upon the section 1001 dealing with direct sales. There had been some changes in certain directions, but hon. Members, he believed, were right in their original idea in the main. If purchase was to proceed in Ireland, it was better that the bargain should be arrived at by the persons who knew most about it. It was not wise to throw the weight of administrative influence into the scale and to appoint enormous staffs; and the employment of experts to decide value should only be resorted to when every other method had failed. Other methods showed no signs of failing. Taking the direct sales—the figures came up to 2nd July—advances had been applied for in respect of 682 estates, embracing 14,476 holdings, and involving £6,630,502, or in the three categories together 736 estates, embracing £17,866 holdings, involving £7,610,650. He did not say that represented an overwhelming success; there were many points of difficulty still to be met; but he had no doubt progress would be easier in the future, and he did not think they should lose heart when so many agreements had been arrived at voluntarily and really without friction. As a rule, the cases which they heard about in the newspapers were not those which had been successful, but those in which there had been difficulties. He would now turn to the Congested Districts Board, with reference to which he had recently given information. The number of estates actually purchased by the Board was twenty-five, embracing 1,655 holdings; but that did not give indication of the amount of purchase made. The amount of tenanted land purchased was 37,075 acres, and untenanted 28,970 acres, the purchase money involving £370,000. Negotiations were pending in respect of twenty-six other estates, embracing 24,000 acres of tenanted, and 18,000 acres of untenanted land. He rose not to make a speech, but to answer a Question and so to give information.
§ MR. THOMAS O'DONNELL (Kerry, W.)
said the right hon. Gentleman could not and did not complain that they were bringing up these matters for discussion. He was afraid the experience which they had gained during the nine months from the working of the Land Act in the con- 1002 gested districts had been entirely unsatisfactory, and they felt, in spite of all they had done to make the Act work satisfactorily and harmoniously, that they were being driven back to the Act of 1881, in order to have fair rents fixed. It might be doubted whether the Act of last year left the poorest parts of the country generally in a worse condition than before it was passed, but that was exactly the position in which his part of the country (Kerry) was at the present moment. During the nine months that had passed, the Congested Districts Board had purchased one holding in Kerry, of an area of 226 acres and had paid £300. That was the holding of an evicted tenant. The Estates Commissioners had purchased only four estates in the county at a cost of less than £220. It could not be said that the tenants had been unreasonable in the prices which they had offered to the landlord; but on the other hand they were quite satisfied that the landlords had been most unreasonable in the prices they had demanded from the tenants. The delay in hearing originating notices was as great as that in hearing appeals. At the beginning of the present month he understood there were 13,700 appeals unheard. As the highest number of appeals dealt with in any one year was only 3,000, it would take nearly five years to clear the list, even assuming no fresh cases were entered. Such a condition of affairs was simply intolerable. The position with regard to originating notices was equally bad. In Kerry alone, according to the last Return, there were 1,000 appeals unheard, while the number of originating notices unheard was simply alarming. A solicitor had written him enclosing a list of fifty cases of his own, in which notices of appeal were served in 1901–2, and stating that hardly anything was being done in the way of fixing rents. That was extremely unsatisfactory, and was bound to influence tenants against accepting terms of purchase. He was informed in the same letter that at the sessions just over, a great number of landlords sued for the hanging gale, a thing that had never been done before. That was the way in which landlords were co-operating to give effect to the conciliatory policy adopted last year! Their object was doubtless to 1003 drive the poor people to purchase on exorbitant terms. The Land Act of 1903 had not proved the success that had been hoped for, and the least the Government could do was to see that the Act of 1881 was given a fair opportunity of working. Another matter of complaint was the lack of progress made in the restoration of evicted tenants. He had brought a case to the notice of the Chief Secretary, in which practically the whole of an estate had been sold, with the exception of one farm, which was in the occupation of a man with no judicial lease or legal right. Under the Act of last year the Estates Commissioners had power to treat with that man, and, if they could induce him to leave, to reinstate the evicted tenant. The point he desired to put was—what would the Estates Commissioners do in that case? The matter was of considerable importance, because there were many other cases of a similar character. He also suggested, in regard to a farm in Tralee, about which he had communicated with the Congested Districts Board, that pending the decision of the Board, some one should be sent down to inspect and value the farm.
Mr. POWER (Waterford, E.)
referring to the figures quoted by the Chief Secretary, reminded the right hon. Gentleman that about six weeks ago the hon. and learned Member for Waterford suggested that the Report of the Commissioners, or a summary of their proceedings, should be supplied to hon. Members. The circumstances were so complicated, and the figures so numerous, that the Committee would have been in a much better position to discuss the subject if that suggestion had been carried out. It was satisfactory to hear that the staff of the Estates Commissioners had been increased. That body had to discharge an important duty, which the people were hopeful would lead to beneficial results. In view of the enlargement of the staff, he thought that when evicted tenants sent in applications for reinstatement their letters should at least be acknowledged. The mere writing of a letter was often a severe task to the class of man concerned, and it was not much to ask that its receipt should be acknowledged. With regard to the main subject of discussion, the success or 1004 otherwise of land purchase wholly depended upon the prices tenants were asked to give. When the Bill was introduced last year, the Chief Secretary was able to prove that there were practically no arrears in the payment of instalments in Ireland. The landlords had been bringing pressure to bear upon the tenants in cases where there had been default, and it could not be said that a man who was largely in arrear was a free agent. He knew cases where considerable arrears were due, and those tenants were poor and were likely to remain poor. The Chief Secretary must recognise that, broadly speaking, the spirit of conciliation shown by the Irish tenantry had not been reciprocated by the landlords, and pressure had been brought to bear upon the tenants in regard to prices. The hon. Member for West Kerry h d alluded to some cases which occurred in his constituency. He wished to refer to the case of a large property which had passed into the hands of Lord Ashton. Within the last few days seven of the most respectable tenants on the estate—one of whom was the chairman of the County Council of Waterford—waited upon his lordship and tried to come to terms for the purchase of their holdings, and they asked for a certain remission with regard to the current half-year's rent. A few days afterwards these seven tenants were singled out and proceedings were taken against them, the idea being to extort higher prices from them. He could not state exactly what the offer of the tenants was, but it was a fair offer, and one which two years ago no landlord in the South of Ireland ever thought he would get. He mentioned that as an instance of the sort of pressure which was being brought to bear upon the tenants. It was to the interests of all parties that the Land Act should work well, but if the people were to live and thrive on the farms it was necessary that free sale should exist and no pressure of this kind should be brought to bear.
§ MR. MURPHY (Kerry, E.)
said he wished to assocate himself with the demand which the hon. Member for West Kerry had made in reference to the cases of appeals in the county of Kerry. The explanation which the right hon. Gentleman had made was quite unsatisfactory, 1005 for the whole procedure of the Irish Land Commission had been attended by unwarrantable delay. He knew that every tenant who sought relief had to pay some costs and undergo very great hardship and inconvenience. If the tenants were to have any safeguard at all, and any remedy against landlords who would not sell, the right hon. Gentleman ought to open the door to them and offer them some protection. In the county of Kerry nothing had been done for the evicted tenants, who were men determined to get back their old holdings. The Estates Commissioners would have no difficulty in reinstating them because, owing to combination and strength of public opinion, very few of these holdings had been "grabbed." He had had a great deal of experience of evicted tenants in the county of Kerry, and, notwithstanding the opportunities given to the Commissioners to effect a settlement, nothing had been done. The Estates Commissioners had done nothing although he had made constant representations to them, and although all they needed to do would be to negotiate in order to effect a reinstatement. When a landlord was about to sell his estate, and of his own motion restore the evicted tenants to their old farms, were the Estates Commissioners going to give them any assistance towards rebuilding and restocking? Supposing a landlord did not sell and the farm was vacant although a fair rent had been fixed, were the Estates Commissioners going to do nothing until the landlord sold his entire estate? He felt very strongly upon this question of the evicted tenants in the county of Kerry and the South of Ireland. Some of the actions of the Estates Commissioners were not deserving of the complimentary references made about them, and they expected them to hold the balance more evenly between landlord and tenant. The hon. Member for South Kerry asked a Question dealing with the purchase of an estate in the southern portion of the county of Kerry, and the right hon. Gentleman replied that the terms of purchase would be open to inspection by the Estates Commissioners before they sanctioned the sale. He believed that those prices were within the zone and consequently there would be no inspection. Moreover, the estate was clearly 1006 congested and was practically an agricultural slum of the worst description. If this kind of thing was allowed to go on it would have an injurious effect.
The Congested Districts Board made a great deal of enlarging farms and restoring people to the land, and finding them more suitable employment. It had been said that 226 acres in Kerry were purchased by the Board for £300, and when the hon. Member for Galway heard this statement he turned round in accents of surprise and asked. "Do you mean £300?" There were two farms in the county of Kerry formerly held by two evicted tenants. In one case the tenant paid £2,000 for his holding a very few years before he was evicted; and in the other case the tenant had been in occupation all his life and was evicted for the non-payment of a single year's rent. The farm for which £2,000 was paid was to be sold by public auction, and it would probably realise something like £1,800, and the other would fetch about £500. But, notwithstanding that what he had stated was the true value of the farms, the Congested Districts Board in an underhand manner negotiated with the landlord and took the farms from him. He wished to know if those tenants were going to be kept out by such an improper proceeding as that. So improper was this proceeding that when he made representations to the Board as to the iniquity of this transaction the Chief Secretary made an offer of the sum of £300, and another tenant offered the sum of £150. There must have been something wrong in the initial proceedings when the Board had made the offer which he had described. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Hush money!] It was not going to have any effect in hushing the tenants or their spokesmen. A further offer in reference to these farms had been made to the Congested Districts Board in the most straightforward manner. It represented the opinion of the parish priest, the chairman of the rural district council, the chairman of the county council, and all the representative public men of the locality, including himself, who had signed a petition representing the circumstances to the Board. If the right hon. Gentleman wanted to preserve proper conditions with reference to the land question in county Kerry. 1007 it would be much more politic and fair if he were to adopt the suggestion of the hon. Member for West Kerry, and deal with farms sold under fair conditions rather than with those from which unfortunate people had been evicted. One of the evicted tenants had spent the years which had intervened in Killar-ney Workhouse. In connection with this dispute he had received from Dr. O'Donnell and Father O'Hara the greatest possible sympathy, and although he had not been able to get them to agree to his views in reference to the position of affairs, he ascribed that to the fact that they were remote from Kerr. The Chief Secretary had listened with the greatest possible attention and patience to what he had to say, and while he did not expect the right hon. Gentleman to anticipate the decision the Board would come to at their next meeting, he wished to utilise this opportunity to tell him that the Board of which he was the head would sow the seeds of trouble and disorder in that portion of county Kerry and do a great deal of harm to the whole question of land settlement if they persisted in the improper and wrongful policy in which they had engaged in reference to these farms.
§ MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)
said they had been falsely led to believe that the Land Act of last year was going to settle the land question. A new vocabulary had been invented for the occasion—words like "appeasement," "reconciliation," and "new eras." As a matter of fact a situation had been created in Ireland that was the most critical for the last twenty-five years. A serious situation had arisen in Ireland, and no one who looked at it from the point of view of the future peace of Ireland could regard it except with misgiving. An attempt was being made to force the tenants into improvident land purchase bargains, and the Estates Commissioners, either from fear or indifference, were doing nothing to save the tenants. The result must be that the Irish tenants would be bound to the English Exchequer by bonds that could not be fulfilled. The probity of the Irish tenant had been vindicated at the Table of the House, but no one could account for the Irish tenant of the future. The hon. Member for 1008 South Tyrone had spoken of the congestion in the Appeal Court. That was a most serious situation indeed, for even if no new appeals were lodged in the next five years the Court would not be able to get over the work. The Government ought to see that some remedy was provided for the condition of things. The Sub-commissioners' Courts were not sufficiently; manned, and he suggested that the Chief Secretary should increase the number, but not from the sources from which they had hitherto been taken, namely, broken-down landlords and their friends, agents, and retired majors. He knew a Commissioner in Queen's county who was a retired landlord. He was good for nothing as a tenant farmer, and the qualification he had for the office he now held was that latterly he had spent some time in the Militia. His father had left him a good property but he made nothing out of it.
Referring to the work of the Estates Commissioners the hon. Member said the situation was most critical, and what he and his friends most complained of was the inability or hesitation of the Commissioners to do anything for the restoration of the evicted tenants. Whether or not they had power to do so had never been properly explained in this House or in the country. He would give a concrete case in his own county. A tenant was evicted in 1883 for the non-payment of rent up to £210 a year. The landlord let the farm to his nephew for £100 a year. The nephew died and the farm was sold for £545. The situation at present was this. Negotiations were going on, and he understood that they were nearly complete, for the sale of the estate. A communication had been sent to the Estates Commissioners, on behalf of the evicted tenant, asking if they would buy the farm. Had the Commission power to make compensation to the planter or had they not? Perhaps the most serious situation was in connection with Lord Lansdowne's property. He presumed that Lord Lansdowne, as a Member of the Cabinet, had given his consent and approval to all the proposals and contents of the Land Act. But what was the fact? Lord Lansdowne had had fifty-two of his tenants evicted since 1887, and there was no appearance to-day, any more than 1009 there was twelve months ago, that single one of these tenants was to be restored to his holding. Had the Estates Commissioners, who were in the pay of the Government, no influence with Lord Lansdowne? Could they not influence him, could they not beg of him to restore the tenants to their holding? Those who had advocated a change in the land system had nothing to be ashamed of, because their action had been fully vindicated by the legislation which had been since passed, and in which Lord Lansdowne had taken a part. The tenants had been turned out of their houses on to the roadside in Queen's county, and, of course, what was wanted was that they should get possession again of their holdings. Was not the John George Adair evictions a case in which the Estates Commissioners should initiate negotiations? There was not otherwise any prospect of that property going into the Court. Landlords retained this right of the hanging gale for no other purpose than to victimise the tenants. He was a tenant fanner himself, and therefore he looked forward to a gloomy prospect if this power were retained by the landlords. A case was lately before Judge Curran in King's county, in which negotiations for sale of the property to the tenants were pending, notwithstanding which the landlord sued the tenants for a year's rent, including the hanging gale. The learned Judge said he was constrained by the strict letter of the law to grant decrees, but to mark his disapproval of the course adopted by the landlord, lie placed a stay upon execution and declined to give costs. He warned the House that should those powers to sue for old arrears, including the hanging gale, continue to be used by landlords for the the purpose of forcing the tenants into accepting ruinous terms of purchase, the foundation would be laid for future trouble and discontent in Ireland. He saw the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. Coghill) in his place. He was concerned for the British taxpayer, so also was he (Mr. Delany) but he was more concerned still for the future of his country.
§ Mr. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
said he would not attempt to accentuate what had been so fully put forward by the lion. Member as to the total breakdown of 1010 the Land Purchase Act, so far as restoring the evicted tenants was concerned. Unquestionably neither the eloquence, nor the sophistry of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary could get over the fact that the restoration of the evicted tenants, which was one of the objects which induced him to support the Bill, had not been effected. He regretted that there were not some more English and Scottish Members present at that particular moment, because they were dealing with a question which involved a Vote of £126,342 for the Land Commission. That was a very large figure, apart from the cost of the other judicial establishments in Ireland. Everyone who read the Irish newspapers knew that appeals were being made which could not be decided in two, three, or four years. The salaries of the Land Commissioners amounted to nearly £17,000 and their duties were to hear appeals and fix fair rents. There must be some great want of attention on the part of the Executive when such a state of things existed. It was said that Mr. Justice Meredith, of whom he could only speak with the greatest respect and admiration, was unable to cope with the work, and that Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, a very experienced man, was not able to cope with it either. Four or five rears ago a Bill was introduced to reduce the numbsr of Judges. If the judicial staff of the Land Commission had broken down, why not utilise the other Judges. They were men of great authority and ability, and the discharge of the duties of a Land Judge did not require any special training. None of the present Judicial Commissioners had any special knowledge of land. They were only required to hear and balance the evidence and then decide. He himself was not advocating that course but, at any rate, it took away all excuse for the delay which existed. What had become of Mr. Commissioner Lynch, at £3,000 a year, a most experienced and clever gentleman, although comparisons were odious in connection with gentlemen clothed with quasi-judical functions. Where was Mr. Murrough O'Brien, who was a most energetic and able man, and who was most willing to work? Win-was he not utilised? He, himself, had never heard of any charge against Mr 1011 Murrough O'Brien except that he sympathised with the tenants; but it was impossible for any man in a judicial position to harden his heart against that. For fourteen years, he, as a County Court Judge, had to administer the Land Acts. He believed he did justice; but he certainly had sympathy with the tenants. That sympathy, however, did not interfere with his judical decisions. He would ask the Chief Secretary, why were Mr Murrough O'Brien and Mr. Lynch allowed to lie fallow?
There was another point he desired to mention. It was most unfortunate that the construction of the Land Act should have doubt cast upon it. Many of them who had passed weary nights in passing the Act knew that the bonus was voted for the purpose of inducing the landlords to fell and the tenants to buy at a fair price. That was the intention of Parliament; and, as a lawyer, he was bound to say frankly that he thought that that intention had been, carried out. Doubt had, however, been cast upon it in judicial quarters and it was rumoured that that doubt had been rather gratefully received, because of the state of the money market, and because the Government were not over anxious to have too many estates change hands immediately. That, however, might only have been gossip; but there was never smoke without fire. They were now in the month of July; and he would not say that the Chief Secretary had been very active and energetic in amending the Act. Why was it that the sale of untenanted land should be supposed not to carry the bonus? That was not the intention of the Legislature. He confessed that, having regard to the £100,000,000 which was pledged by the Exchequer, and the £12,000,000 in hard cash which was put down, the figures given by the Chief Secretary were not a striking answer to the impeachment brought forward by the hon. Gentleman who initiated the debate.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that no matter how many concrete cases of failure to agree might be brought up, nobody had a right to charge him with having held out expectations which had not been fulfilled. 1012 It would be useless and quite improper for him to address homilies either to landlords who were alleged to sue for hanging gales or to tenants who were alleged to have said that they would pay no rent except on sale terms. He had his own opinion about these proceedings, but a more eloquent teaching was to be found in the large sums of money which would pass where landlord and tenant had found it possible to come to agreement than in any words of stricture which he might address to either side. As regarded the alteration made in the staff dealing with the fixing of rents, what had happened was this: Before the Act of last year there were twenty officers whom he would call valuers, twelve inspectors, and fifty-eight sub-commissioners, ninety officials in all, dealing with the fixing of rent. At present ten of these valuers had become assessors, the twelve inspectors and other officers had been transformed into inspectors for purchase, and the fifty-eight sub-commissioners were reduced first to thirty-six, then to thirty, and in October would be further reduced to twenty-five. In October there would be a total of thirty-five officers dealing with rent-fixing against ninety before the Act, but there would be ninety-three officers dealing with purchase, so that there would be altogether 128 paid officials dealing with the land. The Committee need not fear that there would be any undue delay in the fixing of rents where it was desired to fix them. In the year 1899 there were over 30,000 cases outstanding—not appeals. It would have taken the existing staff three or four years to deal with that work. At present there were only 11,000 cases outstanding, and, in his opinion, they could be dealt with in a year.
As to the question whether the Estates Commissioners had power to treat with the landlord for the reinstatement of an evicted tenant, he must express his reluctance to deal with an abstract question of law but he should think the Commissioners had that power. The legal power to do a thing did not always mean the administrative opportunity to do it in each case at any particular moment. He thought the Estates Commissioners ought to concern themselves with those who had the 1013 greatest demand on their help. It was not enough to say, "Here is a man evicted in 1882; you must put him back at once." Some regard must be paid to the merits of the case and the relative claims and urgency of other cases. A great deal had been said about pressure being exercised in order to collect arrears. In the case of a man paying a second-term judicial rent there ought not to be many years of arrear. If a man was paying a first-term rent or paying a non-judicial rent and was pressed for arrears—he did not suggest that that would be done—that man could apply for a stay of execution pending the fixing of a rent. In the case of a future tenant who could not get a rent fixed, and supposing undue pressure were brought to bear and he improvidently signed a bargain which it was unlikely he would be enabled to fulfil, there was inspection for security. As to the question whether if a landlord put back an evicted tenant the Estates Commissioners could give help to that tenant, he should certainly think that was the case, making the sane reservation against deciding such a point as he had made previously. The Government provided in the Bill that the money might be expended for the benefit or improvement of an estate. If they had only meant improvement they would have said improvement and nothing more. It would, in his opinion, be a very serious thing to retard the progress which was being undoubtedly made under the Land Bill of last year, and, he thought, every encouragement should be given to the landlord and tenant to take advantage of it.
§ MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)
submitted that before they went to a division they were entitled to have an explanation as to why the Irish Land Stock was issued in so extravagant a way. It was issued at the low price of 86 per cent., and was now standing at a premium of £7. He would like to know why it was that Land Stock was now standing at that premium.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
said it seemed a pity to interfere for the purpose of stopping this discussion, which was really a useful one, but on the following day, in the discussion on the Irish Land Bill, they would travel over much the same ground. They were desirous of having an hour at least for the discussion of the next Vote— the Board of Works Vote—a Vote which had not been discussed for a great many years and which was of vital importance, and he would therefore suggest to the Committee that they should now come to a decision upon this question.
§ MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)
called attention to the congestion in the Land Courts and appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to use his influence with the Land Commissioners and endeavour to get them to sit during the Long Vacation.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 112; Noes, 193. (Division List No. 213.)1017
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Fenwick, Charles|
|Ambrose, Robert||Causton, Richard Knight||Field, William|
|Asquith, Rt.Hn.Herbert Henry||Clancy, John Joseph||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Austin, Sir John||Cogan, Denis J.||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Crean, Eugene||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C.B.||Crooks, William||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.|
|Bell, Richard||Cullinan, J.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Benn, John Williams||Delany, William||Higham, John Sharpe|
|Black, Alexander William||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay(Galway)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)|
|Blake, Edward||Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Boland, John||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)|
|Brunner. Sir Tomlinson||Dobbie, Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Doogan, P. C.||Jordan, Jeremiah|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark).||Joyce, Michael|
|Burt, Thomas||Dunn, Sir William||Kennedy, Vincent P.(Cavan,W.|
|Caldwell, James||Ellice Capt EC (StAndrw's Bghs)||Kilbride, Denis|
|Cameron, Robert||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Law, Hugh Alex.(Donegal,W.)|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Russell, T. W|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Leamy, Edmund||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O' Brien, Kendal( Tipperary Mid.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Lloyd-George, David||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sheehy, David|
|Lough, Thomas||0'Brien,P.J.(Tipperary, N.)||Slack, John Bamford|
|Lundon, W.||0'Connor,James (Wicklow,W.)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||O'Doherty, William||Sullivan, Donal|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry W.)||Thompson, Dr. EC (Monagh'nN.|
|M'Crae, George||O'Dowd, John||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|M'Fadden, Edward||0'Kelly,James(Roscommon, N.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||O'Mara, James||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|M'Kean, John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wood, James|
|M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Woodhouse, SirJT. (Huddersf'd|
|M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Reddy, M.||Young, Samuel|
|Mooney, John J||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Reid,Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Moss, Samuel||Rigg, Richard||Thomas Esmonde and Cap|
|Murphy, John||Roche, John||tain Donelan.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks. N. R.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dalkeith, Earl of||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Davenport, William Bromley||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Arrol, Sir William||Denny, Colonel||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dickson, Charles Scott||Long,Rt. Hn.Walter(Bristol,S.)|
|Aubrey-Fletcher,Rt.Hon.SirH.||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dorington, Rt.Hon.Sir John E.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lloyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Balcarres, Lord||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth|
|Balfour, Rt, Hon.A.J. (Manch'r||Fardell, Sir T. George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macdona, John Gumming|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Fison, Frederick William||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Bignold, Arthur||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Bigwood, James||Flower, Sir Ernest||Maxwell, W. J.H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Forster, Henry William||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Bond, Edward||Foster,PhilipS. (Warwick, S. W.)||Middlemore JohnThrogmorton|
|Brassey, Albert||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon,Maj.Evans-(Tr'H'mlt's||Milvain, Thomas|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Bull, William James||Gretton, John||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Butcher, John George||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Montagu, Hon.J.Scott (Hants.)|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow||Gunter, Sir Robert||Moore, William|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th)||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Heath, James (Stall'ords.,N.W.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Cavendish,V.C.W. (Derbyshire)||Heaton, John Henniker||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J.A.(Worc||Helder, Augustus||Mount, William Arthur|
|Chamberlayne, T.(Sthampton)||Hogg, Lindsay||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Chapman, Edward||Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Murray, Rt. HnA. Graham(Bute|
|Charrington, Spencer||Horner, Frederick William||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hoult, Joseph||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington|
|Coddington, Sir William||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Percy, Earl|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Kennaway, Rt.Hn. Sir John H.||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Rankin, Sir James|
|Corbett T. L. (Down, North)||Kerr, John||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim,S.||Knowles, Sir Lees||Renwick, George|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Stanley,Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Ridley, S.Forde(Bethnal Green||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.||Welby,Lt.-Col.A.CE. (Taunton|
|Ritchie, Rt.Hn. Chas. Thomson||Stewart, Sir MarkJ.M'Taggart||Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Stock, James Henry||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks)|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wilson-Todd,SirW.H.(Yorks)|
|Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Thorburu, Sir Walter||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Thornton, Percy M.||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Samuel, Sir HarryS. (Limehouse||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Tuff, Charles||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Saunderson, Rt.Hn.Col.Edw. J.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Younger, William|
|Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Tuke, Sir John Battv|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Valentia, Viscount||Tellers FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Walker, Col. William Hall||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Spear, John Ward||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported.