HC Deb 09 March 1905 vol 142 cc947-1008

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £700, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on March 31st, 1905, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Irish Land Commission."

MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.)

said the Irish Members were placed in a very awkward position in regard to this Vote, because they had no Report from the Commission from which they could obtain any information upon the items involved, and consequently they were at a disadvantage. The amount, according to the Estimate, was intended to cover an increase in the staff which was sanctioned for the year 1904–5, but they had no knowledge as to what that increase meant. The only information they did possess as to the procedure in the office of the Estates Commissioners and of the Land Commissioners was that the work was going on most slowly. In the Return, dated December 31st, it appeared that there were 31,000 applications from purchasers in Ireland, while only 8,000 purchases had been sanctioned by the Estates Commissioners, and that showed the vast amount of arrears. Again, in regard to the evicted tenants, out of 4,000 only 131 had actually been dealt with, and he was reminded that of the 131, ninety had been reinstated by the landlords, thus leaving only forty cases dealt with by the Estates Commissioners, which made things very much worse. Last August they were told that the Estates Commissioners were not willing to take the initiative themselves in approaching landlords in regard to buying evicted farms or untenanted lands. He personally waited upon the landlords and agents in his own Division to try to get them to approach the Estates Commissioners in order to bring about negotiations, and his experience of both landlords and agents had been most unsatisfactory. Although he applied to large numbers there was only one who gave a sort of tacit consent to sell an evicted farm, and when that half-hearted consent was submitted to the Estates Commissioners it took them over six months to deal with it. Indeed, he believed that no decision had yet been arrived at in the case. If this was to be the rate of progress, when might they expect the problem of the evicted tenants to be solved? He knew there were large grazing tracts in his own county which had been brought under the notice of the Estates Commissioners, yet he had never been able to get a satisfactory reply from that body as to what they were doing. All they had told him was that the matte was under consideration. Gould the Attorney-General that day give them the information which had been asked for by the hon, and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford over and over again? Could he tell them whether any orders or instructions had been given to the Estates Commissioners by Dublin Castle? He did not care whether those orders or instructions were written or oral, but he did think they had a right to know what, if any, instructions had been given, seeing that last August or September the Commissioners were reluctant to take the initiative themselves in cases of purchase of untenanted or evicted farms, and that now they were actually taking the initiative.


Yes, in a different class of cases.


Yes, they were taking the initiative, and he would like to know whether in so doing they were acting under any special instructions of the Law Officers of the Crown, and what those instructions and orders were. Last year the hon. Member for South Tyrone made a complaint that a totally inadequate staff was employed in the office of the Estates Commissioners, and when they looked at the Returns they found that, although agreements representing a total value of £17,000,00 had been entered into within the last eighteen months, the Commissioners had only sanctioned agreements of the value of £4,600,000. He submitted that that was most unsatisfactory, and he would like to learn from the Attorney-General whether the sum asked for in the Vote under discussion was to be applied to an increase of the staff, whether the proposed increase was sufficient to relieve the pressure of business in that particular office, and would it tend to expedite the completion of sales? Would it not be better for them to have more frequent Reports from the Estates Commissioners as to the progress they were making in the working of the Land Act, and could they not let the House have the necessary information to enable Members to know on what grounds the objects of the Land Act were being frustrated? He could point to cases where tenants had been evicted for a long period of years, where the Estates Commissioners had sent inspector- to visit their holdings, and had then, in fixing the purchase money, based it on the original rent paid by the evicted tenant, and had offered twenty-four years purchase, of that rent to the landlord, whose reply was to the effect that it was simply an attempt to confiscate his property. He would like to know what was being done to prevent the Estates Commissioners from making that progress which it was indicated would be made in the settlement of the evicted tenants' question at the time of the passing of the Land Act. At that time they had every assurance that the evicted tenants would be dealt with in a most generous manner, yet at the end of eighteen months they found that only forty evicted tenants had been dealt with through the medium of the Estates Commissioners.

He would like to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether, in cases where the present occupier of an evicted farm, who had purchased the interest in that holding under the Ashbourne Acts, was willing to surrender that holding on getting compensation from the Estates Commissioners, they would take action to restore the evicted tenant, and whether they would be prepared to give an equivalent farm or compensation to the person vacating the evicted farm? On the Report stage of the Irish Land Bill the hon. Member for Waterford asked the Chief Secretary whether, under the clauses then under discussion, the Estates Commissioners would be empowered to compensate the occupiers of evicted farms with the object of restoring evicted tenants to their holdings, and whether they would be empowered to advance money for the purpose of putting up buildings on the evicted lands and of restocking the farms. The Chief Secretary replied unhesitatingly that the Estates Commissioners would have such powers. Now, they were anxious to learn from the right hon. Gentleman whether the Commissioners in the future would be in a position to deal with these cases on the lines indicated in that debate, and whether, where occupiers of evicted farms were perfectly willing to give up those farms providing the Estates Commissioners would compensate them in cash or give thorn an equivalent farm elsewhere, that would be done. He would like to point out that one effect of the removal of these parties out of the various localities would be to create a better feeling among the people, and to improve the men's own position by taking them to places where their presence would not excite trouble.

Another point to which he wished to invite attention was the selection of places for the sittings of the Land and Sub-Land Commissioners' Courts. He would like to point out that the Land Commissoners were in receipt of splendid salaries, and that they were allowed travelling expenses, and he did think that in fixing the places at which appeals could be heard they should study the convenience of the farmers, who were very poor, and who often, even if they succeeded, were put to an expense which many years gain, based on the extent of their success, failed to compensate them for. He thought they were justified in asking on behalf of the Irish farmers that in future the Commissioners should make arrangements to meet at places more convenient to the parties appealing. He had also a few words to say in regard to the decisions arrived at by the Land Commissioners' Courts. It was a most extraordinary fact that, while the Sub-Commissioners had been giving very small reductions—reductions which the tenants themselves considered inadequate in view of the present depressed condition of agriculture in Ireland—yet in the majority of the cases where appeals had been entered the Land Commission had actually raised the first-term rents. He called that simply monstrous, and he assured the Committee that the Members of the Nationalist Party were resolved on every possible opportunity to call attention to the working of the Land Commission in this direction.

There was still one more point to which he wished to draw particular attention. He had always considered that the zone system had proved practically ruinous to the tenants of Ireland. They found that landlords, when negotiating terms of purchase with their tenants, offered them trivial reductions and then got them to sign second-term rents, immediately afterwards instituting legal proceedings. The result was that they were terrifying them into purchasing at any price in order to save themselves. That had especially been the practice in the West and South of Ireland, and he was satisfied that many years would not pass ere a large number of tenants would find themselves ruined because of the improvident prices which were forced upon them. In his own Division he was aware of the conspiracy which existed in order to force tenants into purchasing. It was a most extraordinary fact that in one case, where the landlord demanded exorbitant terms and the tenants refused, he immediately turned round and sued these tenants for the year's rent just then due.


Order, order ! I do not think the matters the hon. Member is now entering into are relevant to the Vote. He is perfectly right in criticising the action of the Land Commission, but he is now going further, and dealing with the general working of the land system in Ireland, and that I do not think is relevant to the Vote.


said he would, of course, bow to the Chairman's ruling, and he proposed to conclude at once by moving a reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £600, be granted for the said service."—(Mr. Cullinan.)

*MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

said he desired to call the Attorney-General's attention to the promise made by the Chief Secretary that the instructions and regulations of the Estates Commissioners would be laid upon the Table of the House. In answer to a Question by the hon. and learned Member for North Louth the late Chief Secretary said that he had not yet decided upon the exact form of publication, but he agreed that the regulations should come before the House in some way. Being further pressed by the hon. and learned Member for York who represented the landlords, the Attorney-General stated that if the desire of the House was that the rules should be laid on the Table he would bring up a clause on Report dealing with the matter. Did the right hon. Gentleman doubt that that was the desire of the House? What did the Chief Secretary mean when he said that "He had not yet decided upon the exact form of publication, but he agreed that they should be brought before the House in some way."


Yes, I gave that promise in Committee, but it was not carried out on Report.


said that meant that the right hon. Gentleman did not carry out the undertaking he had given. It was a rule that such understandings should be religiously kept, and the right hon. Gentleman had no business to go against a direct pledge given by the Chief Secretary. He wished to know what the right hon. Gentleman meant to do in the face of what took place during the Committee stage of that Bill? Did he mean to take refuge in the plea that this great Act was to be administered by private correspondence between the Lord-Lieutenant and the Estates Commissioners? What was the object of trying to work an Act of this kind without rules and regulations? The only object of this course was to burke discussion, and that was not a legitimate object. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean to lay these regulations upon the Table of the House? If he did not, would he tell the House why With regard to the Report of the Estates Commissioners the Committee was in an extraordinary position. They all knew what an enormous amount of work had been done under the Act of 1903. No less than £20,000,000 had been applied for, and agreements had been made under the Land Purchase Act for that amount. They all knew that the Estates Commissioners were enormously overworked, and their start and premises were wholly insufficient. Nearly eighteen months had passed since the Act came into operation and they had not yet had any Report of the proceedings of that Department, because they refused to take the half-sheet of paper that was published as an Interim Report giving a column of figures which had already appeared in the newspapers. Was that Report to be presented at once, or were they to remain in the same position of blank ignorance of what was taking place, or were they to have a detailed Report of how this money was being spent? The House of Commons was entitled to a full Report of what was being done with the money of the people. He had in his possession the Report of the Land Commission for 1903. The practice was to issue these Reports about the month of July or August in the following year when they could not be discussed in the House. He thought they were entitled to have the principles laid before them upon which the Estates Commissioners were proceeding and acting. During the discussion of the Land Bill of 1903 a certain section of tenants were taken out of the zone system because they had no relation to the zones whatever. What actuated the House at the time in adopting this course was that those tenants had never had their rents fixed. In the case of 70,000 or 80,000 future tenants they were taken out of the zones, and Section 5, which was adopted to meet their case, was as follows— In the case of the sale of an estate where an application for an advance, to which the provisions of Sub-section 1 of Section 1 of this Act do not apply, is made, the Land Commission may, subject to the limitations of the Land Purchase Act, advance the whole or part of the purchase money if they are satisfied with the security, and are of opinion that having regard to all the circumstances of the case the agreed price is equitable. He wanted to know what the Estates Commissioners had done under that section and how it had been administered. This section referred to 100,000 tenants who had a right to that justice which the House of Commons intended them to have. Was it a fact that when the inspectors were sent to inspect such a holding all they inquired into was whether the security on the holding was sufficient for the advance? It might be a holding upon which the tenant had more property than the landlord. Was it a fact that the tenant's property was assessed as security and that the tenant was in fact buying his own property over again. Was that the way the working of Section 5 was being carried out? He did not want to know so much about the amount of money expended, but they did want to know upon what principle the Act was being administered. The declared intention of Parliament was that these tenants would not get justice under the zones system, but now they had gone out of the frying-pan into the fire. They were being plundered and robbed, and the Estates Commissioners were a party to the plunder and the robbery. The Estates Commissioners were now administering Section 5 of the Act upon the sole question of security. What did "all the circumstances of the case" mean? What did the House of Commons intend? Simply that when an inspector went to inspect a holding under that section he should discriminate between the property of the landlord and the tenant. Would the right hon. Gentleman undertake that the Report should contain the principles upon which those gentlemen were acting in regard to Section 5, and would he let them know how it was being administered?

He wanted to put another Question to the right hon. Gentleman. There was an estate—the Maher Estate—the other day brought before the House of Commons by the hon. Member for Mid.-Armagh. It was a very interesting story. He himself wanted some supplementary information in addition to that which had been obtained by his hon. friend. The hon. Member for Mid. Armagh was very anxious to find out which of the Commissioners had acted in that case. Mr. Wrench was one of the Estates Commissioners, and part of his salary, but only part, came under this Vote. The rest was safe under the Consolidated Fund. Did Mr. Wrench visit that estate? Was he the only Commissioner to visit it? With whom did he confer? Did he see the owner or her solicitor? Did he see a single one of the men who had been placed on the land? Did he see Lord Kilmaine? That was the question he wished to press, because Lord Kilmaine was at the bottom of this whole story. Did he make any report when he came back to his fellow Commissioners. Could they have that report? [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: It is privileged.] He knew it was privileged and they were not likely to get it, but all the same his hon. friend was exceedingly anxious to know about that case. He wanted to know which of the Commissioners was involved in it.

MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)

I did not mention the name of Mr. Wrench. It was Mr. Finucane I mentioned.


said he was mentioning Mr. Wrench. The hon. Gentleman went for Sir Antony MacDonnell and brought down the Chief Secretary. In this case he went for Mr. Finucane and brought down Mr. Wrench. These Gentlemen were bringing down the wrong birds. They were not good sportsmen. He asked whether Mr. Wrench was the only one of the Commissioners to visit the Maher Estate. Did he make any report of his business? What was he doing there if he did not? Whom did he see, whom did he call upon, and with whom did he stay? They would find out how this business was being administered some way or another.

He now came to another part of the proceedings. This Vote was for a sum of £700 for salaries. He asked what was the position of the business of this Commission at the present moment. Would the Attorney-General tell them what was the amount applied for at the present time.


I have done that.


said he wanted the information up to date. Really this was the House of Commons, and they would have get some information. The information already given was up to December 31st last and they travelled fast. They dealt in millions every month. In addition to that would he tell them how much had been paid out, how much money had been secured, and if anything was going to be done to supply money for those cases where agreements had been made and simply awaited payment of the money. Had the whole machinery been slowed down? The Secretary of the Treasury was in his place and he would be able to tell them whether the whole machinery of the Estates Commission had been deliberately slowed down because there was not nearly enough money to meet the agreements that had already been signed, lodged, and passed. The 1903 Act was a great Act of Parliament. Were they to be told that that Act, which was passed for the pacification and appeasement of the country—that the whole thing was to be brought to a dead stop and that friction was not only to go on but to be increased every day. If there were any English Members around he asked them not to be alarmed. There was no raid on the British Treasury because when he asked for more money the British Treasury was perfectly safe in their hands. There was no establishment in this country which could take better care of England in dealing with the people of Ireland and they had taken admirable care that whatever loss there was on the money, and whatever discount there was, the English Treasury would not suffer. They were only getting £88 or £89 for every £100, and that deficiency was made up purely out of an Irish fund. It did not come from Imperial sources at all. In view of the fact that £20,000,000 sterling was applied for, and that only £11,000,000 sterling had been raised, that agreements were coming in every day and the machinery was being slowed down, how were they to go on without money, and were these agreements to lie in the office in Merrion Street and landlords and purchasers alike to be placed at a disadvantage? That was a plain question and they would have to get a plain answer.

The last Question was what was going to be done about the office and staff of the Commission. The office was a perfect disgrace. There was no accommodation for the clerks, and he dared to say that if Sir Charles Cameron, the medical officer of health, were called into the place he would clear the whole place out. It ought to be cleared out. It was one of the most congested districts in the city of Dublin. The sanitary inspector ought to have been sent in long ago. Was the Attorney-General going to provide decent accommodation for this great Department of the State, and was he going to supply the Estates Commissioners with a staff competent and fit for its work. The whole thing had got into the most lamentable condition already although the Department was only eighteen months old. They were disappointing hopes and causing friction in the country which need not be caused if they dealt resolutely with the whole thing. What about those instructions, regulations, and rules? The Attorney-General had said there was no word about instructions or rules in the debate. He should not take refuge in that. The word regulations was used and that covered everything. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to redeem the promise made by the Chief Secretary at that date and give the House an opportunity of judging of the work and principles upon which that body was acting.

MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)

said he wished to call attention to the fact that the rent-fixing machinery of the Land Commission was practically at a standstill, and that in consequence of the manner in which the sittings of both the Sub-Commission and the Head Commission were fixed considerable injustice had been done to a great number of his constituents and to people in other constituencies. When the Irish Land Act was passing through this House great hopes were aroused that it would completely change the whole face of the country, and that tenant farmers would not very much longer require to have rents fixed at all, that they would be all transformed at once into peasant proprietors, and so forth. One of the pleas which the late Chief Secretary put forward in bringing forward the Land Bill in 1903 was that the machinery by which rents were fixed was so costly and such a deadweight upon litigants and the Treasury that it should be swept away. It was swept away by setting up this comprehensive scheme of land purchase. That was very good so far as it went, and if the tenant farmers of the country had been allowed by the landlords to purchase on fair terms he had no doubt the prophecies of the right hon. Gentleman might in great part have been realised. Those who were acquainted with the working of the Land Purchase Act in Longford, at all events, knew that it had been brought to a standstill by the exorbitant demands of the landlords. He could quote quite a number of cases in support of that, statement. The tenants were not allowed to purchase their holdings on fair terms, and the consequence was that they had to go into Court to have their rents fixed or revised. But in consequence of the breakdown of the rent-fixing machinery the tenants were being held like Mahomet's coffin between heaven and earth on the questions of land purchase and rent-fixing. This was working out in the interest of the landlords, and acting as a sort of lever to compel the tenants to give a higher price for the land. In answer to a Question to-day the Attorney-General acknowledged that there were 200 appeals from county Longford awaiting the consideration of the Land Commission, and that it was in 1903 that the last appeals from that county were heard. Instead of being heard in the county town they were heard at Dublin, the most inconvenient place that could have been chosen for the tenants, many of whom were poor and unable to bear the expenses of the journey and the employment of counsel to appear in their cases. The way appeal cases were dealt with in the higher Court was a perfect scandal. On two occasions within the last four years the Land Commissioners passed by Longford, going from Carrick-on-Shannon to Mullingar. And why? Because they thought they could not get proper hotel accommodation at Longford. It was their own personal convenience they were thinking of, and not the convenience of the poor people whose cases were to be heard. The management of the Sub-Commission was almost as bad. An eminent K.C., Mr. Edge, occasionally came round, and so far as that gentleman was himself concerned the list brought before him was fairly well exhausted; but many on the list of between 200 and 300 cases were adjourned by reason of the absence of the Lay Commissioners or for some other excuse. He asserted, and believed implicitly, that the wish was to suspend the operation of the Land Act of 1881 in order that it should be applied as a compulsory lever to the tenants to give larger prices for their holdings and bring them under the heel of the landlords. That was a disgraceful state of things, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman, as the chief Law Officer of the Crown in Ireland, and in the absence of a Chief Secretary the be-all and end-all of the Government system in Ireland, to take note that the Head Commision was over listed by 300 cases, that the Sub-Commissioners gave bad attendance to their duties, and that the sittings were too infrequent.

He had been very much interested in the purchase by the Estates Commissioners of the Cusack Estate in the county of Longford. This estate formed one of the most famous cases of landlord tyranny that could be brought before the House of Commons. The owner deliberately entered into possession for the purpose of wrecking the property and the homes and hearts of the unfortunate people who were cursed with him as a landlord. With a great deal of trouble he had got the late Chief Secretary to press on the Estates Commissioners the necessity of purchasing that property under the 7th Section of the Act. The Estate Commissioners sent the case on to Judge Ross's Land Court on November 7th. On the property there were 400 acres of untenanted land—the only untenanted land in county Longford on which evicted tenants could be placed. He found that the decision in the case was not a judicial decision, but it worked at that the purpose for which the land was acquired was over-ridden by the decision of Judge Ross, who accepted deliberately the applications of seven grabbers who already had holdings of their own, for the purpose of shutting out evicted tenants. If the Estates Commissioners lent themselves to a policy of that kind, then the whole of this Act was a fraud and a humbug. They would be far better without it, for all the high hopes of its doing good in settling the land question were a mockery, delusion, and a snare. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that if, in the case of this particular property, no relief was to be afforded to evicted tenants, the Irish Government might furbish up the Coercion Acts for use in the county of Longford. Then there was the King-Harman Estate in the neighbourhood of the county town, consisting of 40,000 acres. On that estate there was a Protestant tenant named Robert Armstrong, who, with his forefathers, had been for generations in occupation of a large farm from which he-was evicted by the late Mr. King-Harman, a Member of that House, in 1887. The tenant who was put in possession was a bailiff on a neighbouring estate, but his. security for the rent was supposed to be uncertain and the landlord only made him an eleven-months tenant. But that tenant was made a permanent tenant for the purpose of purchase, to the exclusion of the evicted tenant, who could have got any amount of security for the proper repayment of the instalments. Was that the way in which the policy of pacification was to be worked out? Was the grabber to be protected and encouraged, and the evicted tenant to be left out on the roadside?

Then there was the case of the Galbraith Estate, which was really a congested district within the meaning of the Act. Whatever powers the Commissioners had ought to be availed of; and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would call their attention to this matter. The majority of the tenants on this estate were rented at under £4; their land was mountain and bog, and their lives were made miserable by a harassing system of processing and decreeing from time to time in the Assize Court. There were 1,400 such tenants, and the greatest possible good could be done if they were granted fair terms. They were willing that the whole of the transaction should be carried through by the Estates Commissioners, and they were not anxious to strike a bargain at too low a rate. If the Act was going to work, the right hon. and learned Gentleman should direct the attention of the Estates Commissioners to the fact that the rate of interest was going on for months and years before the bargains already passed were finally closed up. That delay should be put a stop to. The landlords in some cases charged 4 per cent., and in others 3frac12; per cent.; but whatever the tenant paid in such cases the money was absolutely paid away, and if the Act was to work satisfactorily the money should be advanced more quickly. There was another case to which he wished to draw attention, viz., the farm of Tonnemore in the North Division of the county of Longford. On that farm 190 acres of the best grazing land were available, and these were let at present under the eleven-months system. He happened to know the gentleman who had the farm, and he would not stand between the Commissioners and the tenants if purchase terms could be arranged. He asked the right hon. and learned Gentleman not to treat this as a matter of Question and Answer, but to use his powers or influence to see that this property was bought up for the settlement of evicted tenants. There were eighty-six applications before the Estates Commissioners, and as they had at present only 400 acres of untenanted land available, it would only give five acres to each. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman could induce the Estates Commissioners to acquire this farm of Tonnemore in order to settle evicted tenants on it he would do a great deal to restore confidence in the working of the Act

MB. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

said that two points arose in connection with the debate, namely, the fixing of rents and the administration of the Estates Commissioners. It was, therefore, unfortunate that the Committee had no information in regard to the operations of the Act of 1903. He hoped that when a Return was presented it would not be a mere column of dry figures, which were appalling to the average mind and conveyed little information to the intelligent mind, but that it would show how the Act had been working in regard to tenants within the zones and tenants outside the zones, and the other various classes of tenants, so that real light might be thrown on the operations of the Act. His hon. friend had called attention to a very grave matter in connection with the administration of the Act of 1903, and its reflex action on the Act of 1881. There was at present a loss of £11 or £12 per cent, on Consols, and there would, therefore, be enormous loss in the flotation of the stock if large advances were sanctioned. In his opinion it would be better that large advances should not be sanctioned until they involved a smaller loss. Although it might be said to be opposed to the land settlement he thought that the Estates Commissioners should act rather slowly than hastily. As long as a large proportion of landlords were seeking to impose upon the tenants, and to drive them into bargains which undoubtedly would be detrimental to their future prosperity if not absolutely ruinous to them, the Land Act of 1903, which was intended to be a great measure of appeasement and pacification, might turn out a curse rather than a blessing to the tenantry of Ireland. The Committee would observe the connection between the administration of the Estates Commissioners and the present operation of the Land Commissioners. A two-fold process of procrastination and unfair treatment was in progress, and a double-edged policy of that kind was calculated to drive the tenants into improvident bargains. In the case of second-term rents the tenants were face to face with two great difficulties. One was that their cases were held over, and every possible delay was put in the way of getting their rents revised. The second and the more alarming difficulty was that the tenants were not receiving the reductions to which they were entitled, owing to the present deplorable state of agriculture, the fall in prices, increased competition, and other circumstances. Only to-day it was pointed out that the reductions only varied from 5 per cent, to 10 per cent., and the Attorney-General was only able to give a stereotyped answer. In such circumstances the tenants were being driven to purchase on terms which would be ruinous to themselves and their successors.

He would wish to refer to a few matters of detail. One was the callous indifference with which the Assistant Commissioners treated the comfort and the resources of the tenants in the matter of fixing rents. Every Irish representative would be glad if this rent-fixing business was done away with once for all, and the land question settled in a large and comprehensive way, if it could be accomplished without ruinous conditions being imposed on the tenantry. But until then the tenants would stand by the fixing of fair rents as the lesser of two possible evils. It would, therefore, be thought that the Sub-Commissioners would strive to meet the general convenience of the tenants. They had heard that afternoon of the Sub-Commissioners sitting in remote towns because comfortable hotels and bathing and golf were available. They all liked such things, but did not allow them to interfere with the conduct of their business. He had received numerous complaints from his own constituency with reference to tenants being obliged to travel forty or fifty miles to have their cases heard. When he asked a Question he was told that Killarney was more convenient for Cork tenants than Cork City itself. The real explanation, of course, was that Killarney was a very pleasant place in summer and had beautiful scenery and a salubrious climate. As regarded the action of the Estates Commissioners in connection with the evicted tenants he regretted they did not adopt a more sympathetic attitude. If such an attitude were not adopted the land settlement would turn to ashes on the lips of the Irish people. So far as he could see there was very little of the sympathetic spirit which animated the ex-Chief Secretary when the Bill was passing through the House being reflected in the action of the Estates Commissioners. He hoped that the result of the debate would be to introduce a better and a broader spirit into the administration of the Act.

An Irish Member had to comply with many requirements. He had to possess an intimate knowledge of all the Land Acts and be able to give advice to his constituents on technical points. Otherwise he was regarded as inefficient. Secondly, if he did not bring every case of hardship, be it gigantic or minute, before the House he was regarded as not discharging his duty. His hon. friend had brought several cases to the attention of the Committee, he would submit one. The Newman Estate in his constituency was recently sold, although the money had not yet been advanced. One tenant, Mr. O'Callaghan, of Dromore, a thrifty, improving, and industrious tenant, came to him in great distress and wanted to know why he had been excluded from the general bargain, as he was willing to pay the same price as the other tenants. He wrote to the Estates Commissioners and received a very unsatisfactory answer. It stated that this tenant was excluded not for any wrong he had done or the terms he required, but because the landlord wanted to resume possession of the holding. There might be disturbance and trouble if this man was evicted, and he certainly would not give up his holding without a struggle, whereas the Estates Commissioners could settle the whole matter by informing the landlord that they would not sanction the advance unless this tenant was included with the others. This question could be discussed much more adequately if the Committee were in possession of the necessary Papers and Returns, and he hoped that when the main Estimate came up hon. Members would have all the information the Irish Office could supply.

MR. GORDON (Londonderry, S.)

believed that in the next few months before November 1st, which would complete two years operation of the Land Act, it was not unreasonable to suppose that from twenty-eight to thirty millions' worth of land would be agreed to be sold. There was no difference of opinion among those persons who had regard for the welfare of the country that the Act should be worked rapidly in the interests of both landlord and tenant. But what would be the position of affairs supposing that between twenty and thirty millions' worth of land were agreed to be sold, but only ten millions of money could be had to carry out the contracts? That would leave two-thirds of the purchasers hanging up and blocking future sales. There was another matter in which the tenant was greatly interested. He knew landlords who would be satisfied with 3frac14; or 3frac12;per cent. interest until the money was advanced by the Land Commissioners. But the period during which the tenant had to pay instalments and at the end of which he was to become absolute owner of his property, did not begin to run during all the period of time that such interest was being paid. He thought that in many cases landlords were trying to make reasonable arrangements as to interest, but they were powerless in the matter. Nothing could bring into operation the beginning of the period during which instalments were to be paid before the tenant could become owner of his farm. The late Chief Secretary said he did not want more than £5,000,000 a year to be advanced. He thought that probably the right hon. Gentleman had in his mind the very low price of the Funds at that time, and the great loss there would be in dealing with large sums of money, and he might also have thought it would interfere with the money market. The last speaker was in error, he thought, in regard to the quotation of Consols. He understood that when the first loan was issued they stood at, 86frac12; or 87frac12; per cent. But Guaranteed Irish Land Stock now stood at 94frac12;. It that were so, there was 7 per cent. difference. That eased a great deal of the strain upon the Irish funds. But notwithstanding that, he thought no reasonable Irishman would be unwilling to put some strain upon them in order to hasten these land transactions.


said that in the quotation he made he was speaking of earlier transactions.


said that that made the matter clear. He wished to point out that at the expiration of a year and a half they now found that money could be raised on 7 per cent. better terms. What had they to wait for? He hoped the Treasury would take advantage of a reasonably good market, and not stop at the suggested £5,000,000 a year. He believed it was the wish of hon. Members that these transactions should be hastened, and he hoped the Attorney-General would influence the Treasury to double the amount advanced and make it £10,000,000 a year. Then as to the Department, there ought to be a better staff. He did not care how efficient a man at the head of a Department might be, if he had an insufficient staff the work must be retarded. He hoped the observations made in the course of the debate that the Government desired to go slow was not well founded, but that as everybody had heartily approved of the Act nothing would be done by the Government to retard its rapid progress.

MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)

said that having watched very closely the working of the Land Act he thought it regrettable that they did not know exactly what had been done up to the present by the Estates Commissioners. It should be remembered that the Estates Commissioners were not a judicial body; they were strictly ministerial, and subject to the control of the House of Commons. It was, the before, very strange that there should be any hesitation in laying upon the Table or communicating to the House in some other way the regulations under which they carried on their business. The Attorney-General would doubtless see the necessity for satisfying the House of Commons that everything that ought to be done had been done to make the Act really effectual. As to the delay, it was preposterous that cases should be pending for three years before the tenants could ascertain their position. That was the more to be deplored because, without drawing to any appreciable extent on the Imperial Exchequer, the staff could be so strengthened as to obviate this delay. There was a large number of Assistant Commissioners, both lay and legal, who, under a properly arranged system, could go round the country and fix first and second-term rents. Mr. Justice Meredith was doubtless very hard worked, but there was no reason whatever why aid should not be rendered by other Judges of the High Court. Could not some means be adopted, without throwing any additional burden on the Imperial Exchequer, by which the hearing of appeals might be facilitated and the fixing of fair rents expedited? Reference had already been made to the inadequacy of the staff. That matter and also the condition of the offices in Dublin should be looked into. One of the best suites in Dublin had been purchased, but although some months had elapsed since the completion of the purchase the staff were not yet reaping the fruits of the expenditure. If those offices were fitted up there would be ample accommodation for the additional staff which was so urgently required.

There was a feeling in Ireland that the authorities were not anxious to expedite the carrying out of this Act and that for financial reasons they did not desire to have the whole of the land of Ireland purchased within a reasonable time. That was a bad and unsound policy. The Act was passed with the idea of abolishing dual ownership, with the hope of turning every occupier into the owner of his land so as to make him a prosperous and a peaceable citizen, and it was a monstrous thing that any financial reasons should now stand in the way of the Act being fully carried out. Notwithstanding an unfortunate legal construction which had been placed upon one section of the Act, which had caused considerable delay, about £17,000,000 of land purchase contracts had been made. Cases had come within his knowledge where all the necessary steps had been taken except the payment of the money, and there was a considerable difficulty now being experienced about the landlord getting the 3frac12; per cent, interest which had been contracted for under the Act. He knew of cases in which all the arrangements were completed some six or nine months ago, but the landlords had not yet received the interest on the purchase money. That state of things was intolerable, and he agreed with the hon. Member for South Deny that means should be at once taken to obviate that difficulty. As there was no limit in the Act stating that not more than £5,000,000 a year should be raised, as seemed to be the impression, the money ought to be forthcoming upon reasonable terms. If more money was not advanced Ireland would be in this extraordinary position: that there might be millions of pounds worth of landed property in regard to which agreements had been consummated and all the difficulties got over, but the law would not operate until the money was forthcoming, and the occupier would be neither the tenant nor the owner, but would be under the obligation to pay the interest, which must be recovered through the Estates Commissioners. This was a most anomalous state of things and there was nothing like it in the whole Empire. The only remedy was to have a fund ready to meet all demands.


said he regretted that hon. Members were not in possession of the Land Commissioners' Report, which ought to show what the operations of the Act had been, and the lines upon which it had been worked. He hoped that hon. Members would be indulgent during this interregnum, when he scarcely knew whether he was the Chief Secretary, or the Attorney-General, or an Estates Commissioner, or probably, as Mrs. Malaprop said to Cerberus, "three gentleman at once." Had he known that this debate was about to take place so early in the session, and was going to range over so many subjects, he would have endeavoured to have obtained special information dealing with the particular matters, and this would have enabled him to give a much more satisfactory reply to the legitimate Questions which had been put to him. The delivered had dealt with two topics: (1) land purchase, and (2) the fixing of fair rents. With regard to the fixing of fair rents, he entirely concurred with the hon. Member who mentioned the matter that three years was much too long a time for appeals to be pending. He was not in a position either to quarrel with that, statement or to accept it, because, he did not know what answer the Commissioners might have, or what explanation they might offer. He admitted that unless there was a very sufficient answer three years was much too long a period for appeals to be outstanding. He did not think there was any ground for the accusation made against the Sub-Commissioners that they selected places for their own convenience which were inconvenient to those who had to appear before them. He was informed that they did their utmost to choose places with the most facilities of access to meet the convenience of all concerned. They insisted upon the best possible arrangements being made for the general convenience, and for disposing as rapidly as possible of the business that came before them. As he had not received notice of this Question he could not furnish the hon. Member with any explanation, and it would not be fair under the circumstances to pronounce a definite opinion. It was the duty of the Sub-Commissioners to endeavour to accommodate and meet the convenience of all the litigants, and to endeavour to deal as expeditiously as possible with their cases. An hon. Member opposite had dealt with the reductions made by the Sub-Commissioners on appeal. That was a matter for which the Commissioners themselves were responsible. They were in a judicial position and they were bound to administer the law as it was enacted and according to their lights and notions of what was right and just. If they found that some rents were too low, of course it was their duty to raise them, and if too high to lower them. It should be borne in mind that it was contemplated that this Purchase Act would dispense with the necessity of fixing rents in a great many instances. Of course there were judicial decisions which he was not in a position either to criticise, condemn, or approve.

With regard to this particular Estimate speeches of £700, that was required for salaries of the additional staff of the Estates Commissioners in order to promote and facilitate the purchase operations. That additional staff would consist of one examiner, one assistant examiner, one inspector of the management of estates, four estate surveyors, nine surveyors of boundaries and holdings, and fourteen second-division clerks; but all these were subordinate members of the staff.

With regard to the sales the money distributed was £4,630,000. That, owing to the figure at which the first loan was placed, practically absorbed the £5,000,000. The agreements lodged covered estates, the purchase money of which was £16,900,000. [An HON. MEMBER: Up to what date was that?] Up to the 28th February. Assuming that those agreements were carried out, that would leave a balance of £12,270,000. Perhaps hon. Members opposite could persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to advance money in sufficient sums to deal with these questions as they arose—in sums sufficient to put the Estates Commissioners in ample funds. He doubted very much whether they would succeed, the reason being that the loss in flotation would fall upon an Irish fund, which would not be able to bear it for any length of time, and the fund would not have any money available for other legitimate purposes which it was desired to supply out of that fund. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had placed a loan of £6,000,000 this year, making £11,000,000 for the two years, and in the face of the definite pledge given by his right hon. friend the late Chief Secretary that not more than £5,000,000 a year would be required for the first few years, it would be unfair to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to arrange in the first two years not for £10,000,000 but for £16,000,000 or £17,000,000. The £6,000,000 loan would probably bring in £5,340,000 which with the bonus, assuming that that amount was sold would leave —4,900,000 to be applied in purchase money, so that there would be available for purchase £5,000,000, which added to the £4,900,000 would bring up the amount for the two years to £10,000,000. No one was more convinced than himself that the two great difficulties in the way of this Act were the growth of agreements and the dearth of money.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)

asked whether there would be a third flotation after March.


said he did not know whether that would be so, or whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would admit that it came within the arrangement at all that a loan should be floated in 1903–4, another in 1904–5, and that a third loan should be floated in 1905.


pressed for some information as to whether the Estates Commissioners had received the second loan. He pointed out that sales were being delayed and if the Estates Commissioners had already had that money he would like to know how such a state of delay came about.


said he could not say how much had been paid out. That was how the matter stood at present. He had been requested to press the Estates Commissioners to furnish a Report and he quite agreed a Report ought to be furnished. He had made representations and the information conveyed to him was that the Commissioners were doing their utmost to bring out a Report as soon as possible. But as hon. Members must know, the framing of such a Report must take time. He could not say what the delay in getting out this Report was due to, but he had made inquiries of the Estates Commissioners, and he was informed that it would be out in a very short time. It would, of course, require to be very carefully examined and framed by them.


Is it to be examined by any other person before being issued?


Will the Treasury have the revising of it?


said he did not know anything about revision, but the Treasury would have to see it as it dealt with public money. The hon. Member for South Tyrone had made a vehement charge against the Estates Commissioners, and had told the House of the intention of the Act, but he would remind the hon. Member that once a Bill passed on to the Statute-book it had to be interpreted according to its wording and no one was entitled to state the intentions of its framers.


The hon. and learned Gentleman misrepresents me. What I charged the Estates Commissioners with doing was ignoring the last paragraph of Section 5. They only had regard to the security for the advance, and ignored the second part which directed them to take the actual circumstances of each case into consideration.


said the Estates Commissioners were obliged to be guided by the Act of Parliament, and if they found themselves in a difficulty in regard to a point of law or the meaning of a section, as to how far it bore on a particular case, it was their business to get a decision upon it from the Judicial Commissioner. If the Commissioners had any difficulty about the interpretation of this or any portion of the Act all they had to do was to get a judicial decision on the matter from Judge Meredith. The hon. Member for South Tyrone had suggested that they were to take their law from, himself.


No, what I suggested was that if they were in a difficulty they were to take the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown.


said the Law Officers of the Crown had nothing to do with it. The only persons he was called upon to advise were the Chief Secretary and some Departments of the Government, but provision was specially made in the Land Act in order that the Commissioners might get their legal directions from an independent source unconnected with the Government whenever a point of difficulty arose. It was not at all necessary that parties should go on their own motion in any particular case for a judicial decision. He was not aware that they had raised the point in question in any particular case.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

What the right hon. Gentleman has said now is very important, namely, that it is not necessary that the point should be brought before the Judge by the party interested and that it can be brought before the Judge by the Commissioners.


stated that what he said was that if the point arose in any particular case they could of their own motion bring it before the Judge and get his decision. He did not say that the Judge was to entertain abstract questions or applications, but if any particular case arose in connection with any case before them they could immediately refer that to the Judicial Commissioner and get his decision upon it.


May I ask in regard to Section 5 whether in the case of any estate where the Commissioners are dealing with non-judicial tenants, the Commissioners can on their own motion go to Judge Meredith and ask a proper interpretation of the concluding words of that section, and that they should take into account the equities of the case. Have they done that in this instance?


said he was not aware that they had. Possibly the matter had not been before them.


Has it not?


If it has the fault was theirs. If any non-judicial tenant came before them, they could make a ruling upon the case and decide according to Section 5, and if there was any doubt about the ruling the landlord or the tenant, if they desired it, could get a decision from the Judicial Commissioner, This provision was specially designed in order that the Commissioners should get their law from the head of the Commission to which they belonged, and that they were not to take their law from any Law Officer, whoever he might be. Hon. Gentlemen sometimes found fault with the Commissioners for not doing something they wished them to do, or something that they thought it fair and right they should do, without ever asking themselves if they had any power to do it. If the statute did not give them power they could not do it. They were bound by the powers conferred upon them, and on this question of the evicted tenants some Gentlemen who had addressed the House thought that the Estates Commissioners had much larger powers than in point of fact they had. It was only under Section 8 that they had power to buy land, and that was in reference to a sale or intended sale of an estate. It was ancillary to that sale that they got land for the purpose of enlarging holdings, and for the purpose of reinstating evicted tenants. Many hon. Gentlemen supposed that it on a landlord's estate there were two evicted farms they could go down to the landlord and say, ''Will you sell these two evicted farms without the rest?" The landlord said, "I cannot do that. I will sell the whole of the estate, but I will not sell these two evicted farms apart from others even for the sake of reinstating these men." The Commissioners had no power to make the landlord sell in such a case, and any attempt to do it would lead to great confusion.


Have any instructions been issued to the Commissioners on that matter, or has any Minute been made with reference to it.


said he would come to the Minutes later. He would deal with the matter altogether when he came to it. He admitted the other night and he admitted now that it would be desirable that the purchase of these different estates should progress at a much quicker rate, but unfortunately the Commissioners were not able to secure untenanted land sufficient to carry out the reinstatement of the evicted tenants. But it must be always borne in mind that the main purpose of this Act of Parliament was to turn occupying tenants into owners. No doubt that hope had not been so quickly realised as was desirable, but it must be remembered that all the untenanted land that the Commissioners so far had obtained was 6,000 odd acres. They were in treaty for 30,000 acres more, and they hoped to be able to obtain them. When they did so the progress would be very much accelerated.

The hon. Member for South Tipperary had asked if the Commissioners had any power to advance money to evicted tenants for the purpose of stocking their farms. The hon. Member must have forgotten that he stated the other night that forty-six men who had been reinstated had been advanced free grants amounting to £3,311.


What I asked was if the Estates Commissioners could assist the evicted tenants, whether they purchased under the Ashbourne Act or any other Act.


said he had been under a misapprehension on that point. The Commissioners had done so in every case without adding to the purchase money at all. On August 13th, 1904, the hon. Member for South Kildare asked whether the attention of the Chief Secretary had been directed to a letter from the Estates Commissioners to Mr. John Purcell, Arless, Queen's County, representing P. J. M'Laughlin, an evicted tenant, then in America, and the Chief Secretary replied— The hon. Member has been good enough to furnish me with a copy of the letter in question. But some misunderstanding seems to exist because the apparently simple question, 'Can the Estates Commissioners make an advance for the purpose of compensating a tenant for leaving his holding?' raises several issues which in reality are distinct. (1) In the case of a holding forming part of an estate which is not 'purchased or proposed to be purchased' no advance can be made. Such a case is outside the scope of Section 12 of the Irish Land Act, 1903. (2) In the case of a holding forming part of an estate 'purchased or proposed to be purchased' compensation may be paid, under Sections 12 and 43, for the 'benefit or improvement' of that estate, or 'generally for the purposes' of the Act, one of which is the restoration of evicted tenants in connection with a transaction for sale. (3) The suggestion that compensation may be paid for this purpose seems sometimes to be made in respect of a third category of cases, viz., where the present holder has purchased under a previous Land Act. On such cases I express no opinion, and refer the hon. Member to the reply given on July 19th to the hon. Member for Tipperary South.


asked whether a tenant who had purchased under the Ashbourne or any other Act an evicted farm and was willing to dispose of his interest was entitled to compensation in cash or an equivalent farm.


refused to answer that, and for this reason, his opinion would bind nobody but himself. The Estates Commissioners might take no notice of it, and he had no power to make them act on the opinion he gave. It was a very difficult and nice question. If a question of that kind came up they would have no difficulty in sending it to Mr. Justice Meredith in order to have it decided one way or another.


asked whether the Estates Commissioners had any power in a case where a planter was willing to surrender a farm.


said he could not answer the question off-hand, and even if he did answer, he did not know that any person would be bound by it.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman could give any information about the Maher Estate.


said the only information he had about that estate was what he gave the other day. The only other matter which he thought it necessary to deal with was the question of the regulations, and he confessed that he felt very great difficulty in approaching it, because whatever he could say could have no binding effect on whoever might be appointed to the important office of Chief Secretary for Ireland; and, indeed, it would be most unfair for him to endeavour to outline or suggest any policy which the successor of his hon. friend the Member for Dover might deem it right to adopt. He knew the policy that his right hon. friend pursued, as he had indicated the other day, but on this question of the position of the Estates Commissioners it would be necessary to make up one's mind as to what they were. Were they Judges regulating their conduct by published rules, independent as long as they acted within those rules, or were they Civil servants for whom rules might be prescribed, but in addition to which they might get instructions? Then he turned to the Act and the speeches which were made in the House to see what it was contemplated they should be. The 8th sub-Section of the 23rd Section of the Act of last year purported to fix their position. It was to the following effect— The Estates Commissioners, in carrying out the foregoing provisions of this Act, shall be under the general control of the Lord-Lieutenant and shall act in accordance with such regulations as may be made by him from time to time. In the last section of the Act-there was a provision about the rules. When the clause, which was ultimately crystallised in the form in which it appeared in the Act, was under discussion in Committee, his hon. friend the Member for York objected to the Lord-Lieutenant having any daily intercourse or daily communications with the Estates Commissioners. What was objected to," he said, "was that in carrying out the provisions of this measure they should be subject to the daily and hourly control of the Lord-Lieutenant. It could not be right for the Lord-Lieutenant to give directions that the Commissioners should buy a particular estate or give a particular price. If that were done the Commissioners would be prejudiced in the discharge of their duty, and lie was unable to say what other meaning could be placed on the words. The hon. Member for Longford then intervened and said that— The words, when taken in connection with those that followed seemed to lend themselves to some extent to the criticisms which had been made. He agreed that these gentlemen were to be executive officers, and there was no harm in making it perfectly plain that the Government were responsible for their conduct. That being so, the Government must be able in a general way to regulate the course which the Commissioners should pursue, and that object was secured not only by the tenure of the office, but also by the words— Shall act in accordance with such general regulations as may be made by the Lord-Lieutenant. But when the two provisions of this sub-section were taken together it seemed to be intended that the Lord - Lieutenant should exercise a daily and hourly control over the detailed performance of the work and the determinations of the Commissioners in regard to particular estates. He thought that could hardly be intended," said the hon. Member, "and it would be well if the right hon. Gentleman explained exactly what the words did mean. Then his (Mr. Atkinson's) right hon. friend replied that the hon. Member— must be aware that a member of the Government could not interfere minutely from day to day in the detailed work of a great Department. These words merely meant general control and guidance, the Government being responsible for the success of the Act. The Government would not interfere in regard to a particular estate or as to the sphere of the operation of the Commissioners. But seeing that the Government of the day would be criticised in Parliament if the holies raised in the course of the debate were disappointed, it might be right for them to have a word as to whether the energies of the Commissioners should be directed towards dealing with congestion or some other of the objects of the measure. Then the hon. Member for Louth intervened and made a pointed speech. He said— That in the administration of a new body with large funds at its back it would be intolerable if the Chief Secretary of the day, who would be constantly subject to criticism in Parliament, had not a directing voice. Especially would that be the case in regard to the present Chief Secretary, who was responsible for this Bill. If the measure failed to work satisfactorily the right hon. Gentleman would be attacked on all sides, and it would be impossible for him to defend his position, unless he could say he had given the necessary directions or something to that effect. It would be a satisfaction if the Committee could be told whether the regulations to be prescribed, were to be published, or submitted to Parliament. He would suggest that they should be laid on the Table of the House with power to present a prayer against them if necessary. The hon. Member for Longford again intervened, and said— There was a great deal to be said for the position of the Chief Secretary, so long as the interference of the Executive Government was directed to the principles of actions, to seeing that the Act was carried out in the spirit in which it was intended, and did not extend to the minor details of judgment and so forth. Now, it would be observed that the hon. Member for Louth dealt with two things, first, the general regulations, and asked how they were to be published: but he also dealt with the control and interference for the general purposes of the Government with the Commissioners. They were to make regulations, but in addition to regulations, and outside them, it was competent to control the Commissioners on general lines but not to interfere in particular instances. In reference to that his right hon. friend said that— He had not yet decided the exact form of publication, but he agreed that the regulations should come before the House in some way. That was quite so.


You did not say that yesterday.


said that subsequently the hon. Member for York proceeded to state that— This Act was going to work for a considerable number of years before it was worked out, and therefore he did not like the Lord - Lieutenant to be able to lay down any regulations he liked. And the hon. Member moved an Amendment to add the words— And such regulations shall be deemed to be statutory rules within the meaning of the Rules Publication Act of 1893. The question was put that those words he there inserted. Then he himself interposed and said that he had no objection to the proposal of the hon. Member, but some other form of words would be necessary if the rules were to be laid on the Table of the House. [An HON. MEMBER: Rules?] That must have meant regulations, for they were then speaking of regulations. Then he went on to say that if it was the desire of the House that the rules should be laid on the Table of the House he would bring up a clause on Report dealing with the matter.


said that the right hon. Gentleman had omitted the fact that in consequence of that statement the hon. Member withdrew his Amendment—viz.: on the understanding that the rules would be laid on the Table of the House.


Quite so. He (Mr. Atkinson) said that if it was the desire of the House he would bring up a clause.


Why did you not?


said he did not do it because he was thrown over; and when the Bill came up on Report and a further Amendment was introduced he had not charge of the Bill. The pledge he had given seemed to others unacceptable; and that it was not desirable to lay the rules on the Table of the House. Accordingly an Amendment was introduced which limited the provision as to disclosing the regulations to the rules referred to in Sub-section 13. The provision in the Bill then read— On page 14, line 14, add 'these reports and rules under the last preceding sub-section': i.e., Sub-section 13. He quite admitted that he said in Committee that if it was the desire of the House he would bring up a clause. On the Report he was not in charge of the Bill; but in Committee he was put up and told to say that. On consideration on Report his right hon. friend did, as he was perfectly entitled to do, change his mind.


said that the hon. Member for York withdrew his Amendment in Committee on the distinct promise—on an undertaking given to the House of Commons that that would be done. The right hon. and learned Gentleman now said that he did not fulfil that promise because he was thrown over. But did he not make any explanation to the House?


said he did not think he was required to make any explanation to the House at all. He was not in charge of the Bill, but his right hon. friend who was in charge of the Bill did not make the Amendment on Report, and nobody objected.


But you made a promise.


But my right hon. friend was in charge of the Bill.

MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)

May I ask if you were in charge of the Bill at the time when you made the promise?


No, Sir. Certainly not.


Who threw the right hon. and learned Gentleman over.


said he quite admitted that his right hon. friend did say that the regulations should be published to the House in some form. He himself had never said anything to the contrary. A Question was asked on February 2nd by the hon. Member for East Mayo of the late Chief Secretary as to whether any instructions in connection with the administration of the Land Act had been issued by the Lord-Lieutenant to the Estates Commissioners; and, if so, would they be laid on the Table of the House. His right hon friend's Answer was this— No such instructions have been issued to the Estates Commissioners; the hon. Member may, however, have in view the instructions to be issued by the Estates Commissioners for the guidance of the inspectors. The laying of these instructions on the Table of the House is under consideration. He was again pressed for a further reply by the hon. Member for East Mayo as to whether any instructions had been issued, and he said there had been a Departmental instruction sent out, and he would consider whether it should be laid. Then the hon. Member for South Tyrone asked the late Chief Secretary whether he had not given a definite promise that instructions should be laid before Parliament. To that he replied— There is a distinction to be drawn between Departmental instructions and ordinary regulations. If that did not meet the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite it was not his fault. His right hon. friend contended that there had been no regulations made within the meaning of Section 23, Sub-section 8, of the Act, and that all that he did, viz., to convey a Departmental communication to the Estates Commissioners, was done in accordance with the power that was reserved to him and discussed at the time the Act was passed. It was never contemplated at that time that the only communication he could make to the Estates Commissioners was in the form of a general regulation. No general regulations of that kind had been made, and therefore his right hon. friend thought that he had not failed to fulfil his pledge that he would publish general regulations. He understood that the late Chief Secretary regarded those instructions as confidential and that they should be communicated to nobody. Of course his successor might take a different view of the matter. Until, however, that successor was appointed, it would be quite improper for him to enter into any obligation, or give the House any pledge which he might not be able to carry out. He was not in a position to give any pledge on behalf of the late Chief Secretary's successor. The position of the Commissioners had to be considered. If it were right that under the provisions of the Act they should be in the position of ordinary Civil servants of the State who took orders from their superior, then if these instructions were confidential, they should be confidential for all parties and kept secret from everybody. If, on the contrary, they were to be disclosed by either side they should be disclosed by both. That was the ordinary rule in regard to Civil servants and no Civil servant would be eight to disclose the confidential communications of his superior without the concurrence of all parties concerned.


asked if there was any confidential document in Dublin Castle?


said he was afraid that according to the debate there were very few. If it were desirable to put these Estates Commissioners in the position of Judges they should be governed by a set of rules published to the world. Then they could have the protection which the Government took upon itself in reference to Civil servants who were bound to do as they were told and were saved from all blame so long as they acted within the instructions given them by their superiors.

MR. MURPHY (Kerry, E.)

said that they had been led to believe that the regulations would be issued and laid on the Table in order that they whether they were framed on and intentions of the Land could not come to any other conclusion than that some "hugger-mugger" or hidden work was to be laid at the doors of the Estates Commissioners which would prove injurious to the tenants. He sympathised thoroughly with the complaints made as to the action of the Sub-Commissioners in different parts of the country. In every district there appeared to be a denial of justice by reason of the delay that had taken place in the sittings of the Sub-Commissioners. In Killarney, appeals lodged five years ago had not yet been heard, and any reasonable person must come to the conclusion that the tenants were placed in a very awkward position, and were badly handicapped. Let the Committee compare the Land Commissioners' work with the fixing of rents in the County Courts. The latter took up the applications and disposed of them in three months, and it was hard to understand why the Head and Sub-Commissioners had to delay for years in dealing with questions of so much greater importance to people in the different districts.

He desired to intervene in the debate on behalf of the evicted tenants of Kerry. Out of 411 applications lodged not one single case had been dealt with by the Estates Commissioners in the matter of restoring them to their holdings. It was satisfactory to note that in the majority of Kerry cases no planters were in occupation of holdings from which men had been evicted. Possibly that was because men could not be found to occupy the holdings, but if the holdings were un-tenanted and no effort made to effect such an object surely a stronger case was made out than where planters or grabbers were already in occupation. In one case a gentleman of position named Magill, who had one of these farms, instead of being negotiated with by the Estates Commissioners, was appointed one of their inspectors for the transaction of business under the Land Act. It was setting at defiance both justice and fair play that such a man should be in receipt of a salary from the Commissioners who were expected to deal fairly with the evicted tenant. In another case he, although without influence with the landlord, had been able to effect the reinstatement of an evicted tenant for the mere asking it of Mr. Coltsman, the landlord. Previous to his taking that step they had sent several letters and applications to the Estates Commissioners, and had made every possible effort to get the evicted tenant reinstated, but without avail, and they were compelled to take their own course. He had also made representations to the Estates Commissioners that owing to the number of years the tenant had been out of occupation, to his poverty and difficult position, he was entitled to some assistance; but although twelve months had lapsed since the reinstatement, and various reports had been made regarding that particular evicted tenant, nothing had been done beyond a promise that the case would be considered by the Commissioners. What was true of those two tenants applied equally to other estates in Kerry. The inspectors of the Estates Commissioners apparently made inquiries, but they resulted in no satisfactory treatment of the evicted tenants. Another case was to be found on the estate of the Earl of Kenmare in Killarney, where an evicted tenant, who had been out of his holding fifteen years, was still claiming to be reinstated. A fair rent had been fixed before he was evicted and he owed only one year's rent. He went out on the "Plan of Campaign" and in defence of the other tenants; the landlords' agent was written to, but declined to let to the evicted tenant, and although the farm was vacant, and the Estates Commissioners had been appealed to, nothing had been done. But a worse case was to be found on the Collis Sands Estate, where the landlord had agreed to sell, and the tenant had agreed to buy, and yet no definite arrangement had been made. The result was that tenants were determined not to pay rent until the landlords dealt fairly with them, and the landlords were determined to obtain high prices, even if they had to resort to writs and other processes of intimidation. Thus the whole parish was in a state of turmoil and disorder, whereas if a reasonable bargain had been allowed the parties would have been happily situated. It appeared to him that if anything was to be done for the evicted tenants it must be effected by raising their voice in Parliament and getting the people to agitate at home. The Attorney-General could only be regarded as a stop-gap in the absence of the right hon. Member for Dover, which they all regretted, but he would express the hope that some good might yet be done for the evicted tenants, who were the most deserving and needful section of the people, and that negotiations under the Land Act might be in the future carried out in a more reasonable manner than had been the case during the last two years.

*SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

asked whether the hon. and learned Gentleman could say how long the extra staff had been employed, became if they were to be employed for merits between any considerable time, in his opinion the tenants would, Vote was insufficient. It was notorious throughout Ireland that the block in the way of completing transactions was due first to the want of money, and second to the length of time necessary for the completion of the process of examination and inspection, and if this £700 now asked for was for the payment of the staff mentioned for another year, it was quite evident by the experience of the past that that staff was insufficient to get through the work.

Passing to the larger question, he understood the hon. and learned Gentleman to say that the amount available each year for land purchase would be £5,000,000. Up to the present there had been £11,000,000, £5,000,000 for the financial year 1903–1904, and £6,000,000 for the financial year 1904–1905. In a few days, when the next financial year commenced, there could be another flotation of stock for another £5,000,000, and the result of that would be that £16,000,000 would be ail the money available to meet the whole of the transactions up to March 31, 1906. In the meanwhile applications kept pouring in. Those already in represented something like £16,000,000, so that they would absorb the whole of the purchase money that could be expected to be available up to the 31st of March, 1906. Yet bargains were being made and applications were coming in. There would be very long delays between the signing of the agreement and the vesting order, which was, to say the least, unfortunate. It had a great disturbing influence in Ireland, and it appeared to him that if the money was not to be got to meet the demands as they came in, some notice should be published by the Government warning both landlord and tenants that under the circumstances any agreement arrived at must remain in abeyance for many months. This was an important matter. He did not complain of the delay, because it arose from the unanticipated success of the Act of 1903, but, the conditions having arisen, in his opinion the Government ought to take some steps, either to ameliorate them, or if they could not do that they should at least let it be known that the agreements between the landlords and the after they had been signed, be shelved for many months, perhaps years, to come.

*Mr. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)

said it was very necessary for the Estates Commissioners to have proper clerical assistance, because from his personal experience they could not even acknowledge a letter in less than fourteen days. He, however, did not see any necessity for this £700 Vote at all. The staff at the Four Courts had practically nothing to do except read the newspaper all day, and the same state obtained in other Departments, consequently there was no need whatever for this extra expenditure, as clerks might have been transferred from other offices. Twenty inspectors had been appointed by the Estates Commissioners, but in reply to a Question the Attorney-General had been unable to give any information as to their creed, knowledge, or previous experience. As to the evicted tenants, according to the official Returns there were 215 evicted tenants in Queen's County of whom only one had been restored. That was an even lower rate than in the rest of the country. Out of 5,500 evicted tenants in Ireland forty-six had been restored by the Estates Commissioners, and ninety by the landlords, so that at that rate it take forty years to settle the evicted tenants question, upon which settlement depended the whole success of the Act and the peace and contentment of the country. On the Marquess of Lansdowne's estate there were forty-nine evicted tenants, not one of whom had been restored by the Estates Commissioners. He wished to know whether they had approached the planters in the matter, or whether any communications had passed between the Estates Commissioners and Lord Lansdowne with regard to the reinstatement of these tenants. Another case was that of the Caldbeck Estate, one-half of which consisted of untenanted land. That land had been parcelled out between the big graziers, business men, and the bailiff himself, although there were thirty-four tenants whose holdings were absolutely uneconomic and who under the Act had a right to a fair share of the land. Were those men to be swindled out of their rights? When the inspector went down to the estate he travelled with the agent, met the bailiff

at the village, and lunched with the biggest grazier. His report, however, could not be procured; it being held to be privileged. He protested against this arrangement being sanctioned by the Commissioners, seeing that under it the whole intention of the Act was being completely defeated.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 218; Noes, 246. (Division List No. 34.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Duncan, J. Hastings Law, H. A. (Donegal, W.)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Dunn, Sir William Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Corn wall)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Edwards, Frank Layland-Barratt, Francis
Allen, Charles P. Elibank, Master of Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Asher, Alexander Ellice, Capt E. C(S. Andrw'sBghs Levy, Maurice
Ashton, Thomas Gair Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Lewis, John Herbert
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H. Emmott, Alfred Lloyd-George, David
Atherley-Jones, L. Eve, Harry Trelawney Lough, Thomas
Barlow, John Emmott Farrell, James Patrick Lundon, W.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Fenwick, Charles Lyell, Charles Henry
Beaumont, Wentworth, C. B. Field, William Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Bell, Richard Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Benn, John Williams Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Black, Alexander William Flynn, James Christopher Mc Crae, George
Blake, Edward Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Mc Hugh, Patrick A.
Boland, John Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Mc Kean, John
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. McKenna, Reginald
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Fuller, J. M. F. Mc Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Brigg, John Furness, Sir Christopher Mc Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin
Bright, Allan Heywood Gilhooly, James Markham, Arthur Basil
Broadhurst, Henry Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J. Mooney, John J.
Brown, G. M. (Edinburgh) Goddard, Daniel Ford Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Moss, Samuel
Burke, E. Haviland Hammond, John Moulton, John Fletcher
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hardie, J. Keir (MerthyrTydvil) Murphy, John
Caldwell, James Harmsworth, R. Leicester Nannetti, Joseph P.
Cameron, Robert Harrington, Timothy Newnes, Sir George
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Harwood, George Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Causton, Richard Knight Hayden, John Patrick Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Cawley, Frederick Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Nussey, Thomas William
Channing, Francis Allston Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Cheetham, John Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Higham, John Sharpe O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Clancy, John Joseph Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Holland, Sir William Henry O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Crean, Eugene Horniman, Frederick John O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Cremer, William Randal Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk O'Dowd, John
Crombie, John William Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Crooks, William Jacoby, James Alfred O'Kelly, James(Roscommon,N.
Cullinan, J. Johnson, John O'Malley, William
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) O'Mara, James
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Jones, Leif (Appleby) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)
Delany, William Joyce, Michael Parrott, William
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay(Galway) Kearley, Hudson E. Partington, Oswald
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Kennedy, V. P. (Cavan, W.) Paulton, James Mellor
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Kilbride, Denis Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Labouchere, Henry Perks, Robert William
Doogan, P. C. Lambert, George Pirie, Duncan V.
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Lamont, Norman Power, Patrick Joseph
Duffy, William J. Langley, Batty Rea, Russell
Reckitt, Harold James Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Reddy, M. Slack, John Bamford Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Weir, James Galloway
Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th) Soares, Ernest J. White, George (Norfolk)
Rickett, J. Compton Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Stevenson, Francis S. Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Strachey, Sir Edward Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Roche, John Sullivan, Donal Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Roe, Sir Thomas Taylor, Theodore G. (Radcliffe) Wills, Arthur W. (N. Dorset)
Rose, Charles Day Tennant, Harold John Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Runciman, Walter Thomas, David A. (Merthyr) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Russell, T. W. Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Thomson, F. W. (York. W.R) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Schwann, Charles E. Tillett, Louis John Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Tomkinson, James Young, Samuel
Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight Toulmin, George Yoxall, James Henry
Shackleton, David James Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Waldron, Laurence Ambrose TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Sheehy, David Wallace, Robert Thomas Esmonde and Mr.
Shipman, Dr. John G. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Patrick O'Brien.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hall, Edward Marshall
Allsopp, Hon. George Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Hambro, Charles Eric
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nd'rry
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hon. H. O. Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)
Arrol, Sir William Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Hare, Thomas Leigh
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cubitt, Hon. Henry Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H Dalrymple, Sir Charles Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Davenport, William Bromley Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dewar, Sir T. R.(Tower Hamlets Heath, Sir J. (Staffords., N. W.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dickinson, Robert Edmond Heaton, John Henniker
Baird, John George Alexander Dickson, Charles Scott Helder, Augustus
Balcarres, Lord Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manc' r Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Hoare, Sir Samuel
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Doughty, Sir George Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside
Ban bury, Sir Frederick George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Horner, Frederick William
Banner, John S. Harmood- Doxford, Sir William Theodore Hoult, Joseph
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Duke, Henry Edward Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir J. William Hart Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj'min Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Hunt, Rowland
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Jeffreys, Capt. Hon. Arthur Fred.
Bigwood, James Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Jessel, Capt. Herl ert Merton
Bill, Charles Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Konnaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H
Blundell, Colonel Henry Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'ru'ss B'ghs Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Fisher, William Hayes Kerr, John
Boulnois, Edmund Fison, Frederick William Keswick, William
Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose Kimber, Sir Henry
Brassey, Albert Flannery, Sir Fortescue King, Sir Henry Seymour
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Flower, Sir Ernest Knowles, Sir Lees
Burdett-Coutts, W. Forster, Henry William Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Butcher, John George Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J A.(Glasgow) Gardner, Ernest Lawrence, Sir J. (Monmouth)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Garfit, William Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gordon, Hn. J. E.( Elgin & Nairn Lawson, John Grant (Yorks NR
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Goulding, Edward Alfred Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (W'rc Graham, Henry Robert Leveson-Gower, Frederick N S.
Chapman, Edward Green, W.D. (Wednesbury) Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Clive, Captain Percy A. Greene, Sir E W( B'ry S Edm'nds Loder, (Gerald Walter Erskine
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Gretton, John Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Guthrie, Walter Murray Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Cook. Sir Frederick Lucas Hain, Edward Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th) Pretyman, Ernest George Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Macdona, John Cumming Purvis, Robert Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Maconochie, A. W. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Thorburn, Sir Walter
McArthur, Charles (Liverpool) Randles, John S. Thornton. Percy M.
Mc Calmont, Colonel James Rankin, Sir James Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Majendie, James A. H. Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Tritton, Charles Ernest
Manners, Lord Cecil Ratcliff, R. F. Tuff, Charles
Marks, Harry Hananel Reid, James (Greenock) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Martin, Richard Biddulph Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Turnour, Viscount
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.) Renwick, George Valentia, Viscount
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E H (Sheffield
Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Warde, Colonel C.E.
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Webb, Colonel William George
Moore, William Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E (Taunton
Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Round, Rt. Hon. James Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Morpeth, Viscount Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Morrell, George Herbert Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Morrison, James Archibald Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Whitmore. Charles Algernon
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Mount, William Arthur Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Myers, William Henry Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks.
Nicholson, William Graham Shaw-Stewart. Sir H. (Renfrew Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath
Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Parker, Sir Gilbert Sloan, Thomas Henry Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Parkes, Ebenezer Smith, A. B. (Hertford, East) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B Stuart.
Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington) Smith. Rt. Hon. J. P. (Lanarks Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Smith. Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wylie, Alexander
Pemberton, John S. G. Spear, John Ward Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Percy, Earl Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Pierpoint, Robert Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lanes.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Alexander Acland - Hood
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Stock, James Henry and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
plummer, Sir Walter R. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stroyan, John

Original Question again proposed.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

said he had not had the advan age of hearing the speech of the Attorney-General, but he had got what he believed was a fairly adequate summary of it. He wished to return to the subject of the status of the Estates Commissioners at the point where the right hon. Gentleman left it. He would read the passage in the speech of the late Chief Secretary dealing with that subject when the Laud Bill was in Committee. It was to be found in Hansard, 1st July, 1903. The right hon. Gentleman said— He would like to define the attitude of the Government step by step. During the long conferences which preceded the introduction of the Bill, and on almost every clause, he had laid the greatest stress on the administrative character of the new Commission. That the new Commission should be of an administrative character was not merely his personal opinion, it was an integral part of the policy of the Government. He could not have persuaded his right hon. friend to sanction the use of large public funds for purely executive work except upon the basis that those who administered them were to be in a very real sense executive officers, subject in all matters of policy, and the economic and proper use of the funds, not only to the control of the Government, but to the criticism of the House. The late Chief Secretary was certainly a master of lucid exposition, and no language could be more explicit than that passage. There was no single statement in connection with the Bill the meaning of which was more palpable than the one he had quoted. All would agree that they had a right to criticise the action of the Estates Commissioners. It was intended that they should be under the constant control and criticism of the House. To him it was axiomatic from that proposition that the Committee must know the instructions under which the Estates Commissioners did their work if they were to be criticised. Let the Committee see the position in which they were placed by the startling statement of the Attorney-General. The right hon. Gentleman said, "It is quite true that I gave a. pledge that these instructions should be made public."


These "regulations?"


said the right hon. Gentleman had stated that he was instructed to give that pledge, and that then he was thrown over. He said he was not in charge of the Bill. They must assume. Therefore, that he was thrown over by the Gentleman in charge of the Bill, namely, the late Chief Secretary. They had a subordinate officer of the Government telling the House of Commons that, having on instructions given a deliberate pledge, he was overthrown by his superior. There had been such remarkable relations between different members of the Government that he had ceased to be startled at anything they might do. When he read a speech by the Chief Secretary in favour of one policy, and when he found a strong denunciation of that policy by the Attorney-General, he was in doubt whether the Chief Secretary had thrown over the Attorney-General or the Attorney-General had thrown over the Chief Secretary. They were accustomed to the ordinary constitutional reserve which was observed between Ministers, but this was a startling new development on which he would make further comment. He would look at the situation in which Members from Ireland were placed. They got an undertaking from a representative of the Government, and if that undertaking was not carried out they were deprived of the means of criticising the Commissioners. A pledge given to the House of Commons by one Minister was beyond the power of any other Minister to recall. The Irish representatives had strong reason to complain that the Attorney-General should have allowed himself to be thrown over, and further they had reason to complain that when he was thrown over they were not told of the matter so that the House might have dealt with it.


I told the House that words would be brought up on Report.


said the Attorney-General did not bring up words on Report, and the only explanation he gave was that he was thrown over by his hierarchical superior. The result was that a solemn pledge given to the House was broken. That was a flagrant breach of the old practice of that Assembly—a practice without which no business could be brought forward and properly and decorously discussed, namely, that a pledge given by a Minister was one from which he had no right to recede except with the consent of those to whom it was given. It was a most discreditable transaction. He supposed that the next Chief Secretary would not be an Irishman, but a man of the superior nationality who thought they had a right to manage the affairs of Ireland. When he saw the Attorney-General, an Irishman, with long years of office, thrown over by an English Chief Secretary, his sympathies gushed forth towards the right hon. Gentleman in the humiliating position in which he had been placed. He renewed his strong complaint that a breach of faith had been committed.

So much in regard to form; he would now come to substance. They had been promised the right to criticise the Estates Commissioners, but they were without the materials to do so on the very point on which, above all others, they wanted material. So far as the transactions between landlord and tenants for the sale of land were entered into, these merely concerned the two parties, and the bargains might be either good or bad. There was no power on those benches by which transactions of that kind, sanctioned by the Estates Commissioners, could be revised; but the action of the Estates Commissioners in regard to the evicted tenants was primarily and mainly executive, and was a matter which affected every section of the people of Ireland, and the whole of the land policy of which the Land Act was the expression. Everybody knew that the Land Bill would not have got one vote from any single man on those benches if they had thought that the evicted tenants were going to be deserted. The supreme and vital part of the Land Act was that relating to the evicted tenants, and the Chief Secretary, as long as the Bill was under discussion in that House, and Lord Lansdowne in another place, cordially accepted that proposal. The Bill became law, and the Estates Commissioners were appointed. He did not know one of them except as a nodding acquaintance; but he had read in the public Press that the Estates Commissioners had been most anxious to deal with the evicted tenants. The right hon. Attorney-General admitted that, somehow or other, the work had not been done. If that was the fault of the Estates Commissioners let the House of Commons know. If the Irish Members could be persuaded that the blame for the manner in which this question had been tinkered with could be laid at the door of the Estates Commissioners, he could assure the Committee that the Estates Commissioners would get the full measure of Parliamentary criticism promised in the speech of the late Chief Secretary. If it was not the fault of the Estates Commissioners, let the House of Commons know. If this great question, which lay at the root of social order in Ireland, which was almost what he might call its poisoned root, was not settled, they had a right to ask who dared prevent it. For that settlement thousands of unhappy beings had been looking, yearning, and longing for ten, twenty, thirty years, hoping that they might be permitted to return to their untenanted houses and desolated farms. In the sporting phrase of his hon. friend behind him he wanted to saddle the right horse; to find out the criminal in order that they might frame an indictment against him.

All that the Attorney-General could do was to say, "I promised to give you the material for criticism; I was overruled; I am still like the peri at the door of Paradise awaiting with tremulous anxiety, not unmixed with apprehension, the name of the gentleman who is to succeed to the vacant office of Chief Secretary." To what base uses this Chief Secretary ship, which was once the most important position in the Cabinet, must have come, that it was now going a-begging from one Minister to another? Was there even a poor, shuffling, callow Under-Secretary who would think it worth his while to pick it out of the gutter? This was the apotheosis of Unionism. The Attorney-General was waiting for his new hierarchical chief, and he could promise the right hon. Gentleman that it would be far more easy for him when the typical Saxon, with a fine colossal, hide-bound, rhinoceros-laden ignorance of Irish affairs, arrived as a new Chief Secretary. He pressed upon the hon. and learned Attorney-General the necessity, at the very first consultation he had with his new chief, of impressing on that Gentleman, whoever he might be, the propriety of making no pledges that he could not fulfil, and the absolute necessity of his keeping faith with Parliament and giving to the House the information promised. This matter could not be left where it stood. He was sure that they would have the assistance of the hon. and learned Gentleman in pressing upon his new chief the duty, the honour, and obligation to give the information required. When that information was forthcoming they would be able to deal with this question which for twenty years had been a source of sorrow and astonishment to Ireland.

MR. KILBRIDE (Kildare. S.)

said the restoration by the Estates Commissioners of forty-six, and by the landlords of ninety odd evicted tenants was not a very great result to show for a year and a half's working of the Land Purchase Act of 1903. In fact, it was an exceedingly poor result. There were, they were told, 4,550 applications for reinstatement, some from America, some from Australia and other countries, and he was glad to hear the hon. and learned Gentleman say he did not intend to make any point of that fact. He quite admitted that some of those claims might not be genuine, but the enormous bulk of them were, and the hon. and learned Gentleman might minimise them as much as he could, but still the forty-six restorations by the. Estates Commissioners stood out as a. miserable result of the working of the Act of 1903 in this regard. Out of the. £250,000 at the disposal of the Estates. Commissioners for the reinstatement of evicted tenants they had spent something like £3,500, which came to about £72 each tenant. Could the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether those forty-six tenants had been restored to their own holdings, or whether in that number he included those for whom other farms had been found. He himself believed that the Irish land question would never be settled to the satisfaction of Ireland, or to the advantage of the House until every evicted tenant was restored to the holding from which he had been evicted. He himself was the first tenant evicted under the Plan of Campaign, and ho never had, and never would go back from anything he did on that occasion. Given the same, circumstances and conditions, he would do to-morrow what he did then. He had taken the rough with the smooth side of Irish political life, as the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite knew, and the hon. and learned Gentleman had used every device of the law to give him penal servitude. But when he arrived in that House he neither attacked the hon. and learned Gentleman nor complained. He was one of those who preferred the rough tongue of the hon. and learned Gentleman to the smooth tongue and smiling manner of the late Chief Secretary the right hon. Member for Dover. In the one case he always knew where he was and in the other case he never knew where he was. The hon. and learned Gentleman had never deceived him. He always knew that in the hon. and learned Member he had an opponent, skilful and learned in the law, to fight, who would use every trick and device of the law to put him into jail and keep him there. He did not complain, and frankly admitted that if, under different circumstances, the hon. and learned Gentleman had to deal with him, as through the mercy of providence he might have to, yet he would do the same by him.

With reference to the question he had asked that day as to the reduction of rents in county Clare, he asked the hon. and learned Gentleman to remember that some of those rents were fixed as first-term rents before 1884. Rents in West Clare were reduced by 5 per cent., and in East Clare by 10 per cent. He could not understand how any Commissioner, acquainted with the nature of the land, and having regard to the reduction in the prices of agricultural produce, could come to the conclusion that a reduction of 5 per cent. on a second-term rent could result in a fair rent, when the first-term rent had been fixed before 1884. He drew attention to the fact that one of the Sub-Commissioners who was sent to fix these rents in Clare, where the land was principally crag land and bog land, came, from county Wexford where such classes of land were almost unknown, and the result was that, instead of proper valuation being made, these ridiculous reductions of 5 per cent. for West Clare and 10 per cent, for East Clare were made. It was, of course, all done in the interest of Irish landlords, who desired to sell. The basis of purchase must be the existing rents, and these men who knew nothing about the value of land in a particular county were sent down in order to make these valuations so that the landlord might get as much money as possible, and in order to prevent the tenants going into Court, and so drive them into purchase. The Land Commissioners issued periodically a list of prices current in the Dublin markets for beef and mutton and for all classes of store stock at the various country fairs. They had inspectors attending at these fairs who sent up a return of the prices of all things sold, and what yearlings and two-year olds and so on were to be bought for, and these returns were sent to the Sub-Commissioners as a guide to them in fixing rents. Some of these Sub-Commissioners were broken-down landlords, while others were men who had endeavoured to farm on their own land and then could not make it pay. He would like to know the names of some of these Sub-Commissioners.

Late in the previous session he put several questions to the right hon. Member for Dover as to whether the Estates Commissioners had any power of initiative with regard to the reinstatement of evicted tenants, or whether the Estates Commissioners had the power of initiative to approach a grabber and suggest to him to take either monetary compensation or a similar farm elsewhere to that which he was in. To these questions he never obtained a satisfactory answer. On June 29th, 1903, during the Report stage of the Land Bill, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford asked whether, under Clause 11 of the Bill, the Estates Commissioners would have power to buy out the interests of existing tenants in order to reinstate evicted tenants, and whether the money at the disposal of the Estates Commissioners, under that clause, would be available for the purpose of restocking and rebuilding farms. The Chief Secretary in reply said— The answer to those two questions is certainly in the affirmative. In the face of that reply he could not understand how the right hon. Gentleman at the close of the session could have refused to give a definite answer. If nobody had a power of initiative there could not possibly be a settlement where persons had taken possession of evicted tenants' holdings. These grabbers had been described as the landlords' "wounded soldiers." There never was a greater misnomer; while the battle was going on they never took part in the fighting. They were rather the camp followers and jackals, who came in after the battle was over to rifle the wounded and the dead. In nine cases out of ten they were not and never had been practical farmers. Yet, in spite of the definite statement of the late Chief Secretary, the Estates Commissioners, under some occult influence, now refused to approach any grabber. Why was it? Who had given them their instructions? Instructions, regulations, orders, or minutes had been supplied by someone, and somewhere; it was not

known by whom, or where. Was it because of those instructions that the Estates Commissioners refused to do that which the Chief Secretary definitely stated they would have power to do? The Attorney-General had stated that he did not give the instructions. But did they issue from the law department of Dublin Castle? Were they given by the Lord-Lieutenant? It was not supposed that the Lord-Lieutenant had anything to do with them. Lord Dudley desired to see the evicted tenants' question settled on just and amicable lines, and for that reason Nationalists were delighted that he still remained at Dublin Castle. Those who had not the courage of their convictions, who could not keep their word, had left the castle, but the man of honour and the man of his word remained.

Mr. ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 235; Noes, 198. (Division List No. 35.)

Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Brassey, Albert Dickson, Charles Scott
Allsopp, Hon. George Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bull, William James Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E
Arkwright, John Stanhope Burdett-Coutts, W. Doughty, Sir George
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hon. H. 0. Butcher, John George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers
Arrol, Sir William Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Garson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Duke, Henry Edward
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cayzer, Sir Charles William Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J (Manc'r
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Baird, John George Alexander Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Balcarres, Lord Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J A. (Worc. Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Chapman, Enward Fisher, William Hayes
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds Clive, Captain Percy A. Fison, Frederick William
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Coates, Edward Feetham FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flower, Sir Ernest
Banner, John S. Harmood- Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Forster, Henry William
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.)
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Colston, Chas Edw. H. Athole Gardner, Ernest
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Berjamin Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Garfit, William
Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. Hicks Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn
Bignold, Sir Arthur Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)
Bigwood, James Cubitt, Hon. Henry Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bill, Charles Cust, Henry John C. Graham, Henry Robert
Bingham, Lord Dalrymple, Sir Charles Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Davenport, William Bromley Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds
Boulnois, Edmund Dewar, Sir T. R.(TowerHamlets Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)
Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) Dickinson, Robert Edmond Greene, W. Raymond(Cambs.
Gretton, John Maconochie, A. W. Round, Rt. Hon. James
Hain, Edward McArthur, Charles (Liverpool) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Hall, Edward Marshall Mc Calmont. Colonel James Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Hambro, Charles Eric Majendie, James A. H. Sackville, Col. S. G. (Stopford
Hamilton, Marq. Of (L'nd'nd'rry Manners, Lord Cecil Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)
Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford) Marks, Harry Hananel Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Hare, Thomas Leigh Martin, Richard Biddulph Sloan, Thomas Henry
Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Smith, A. H. (Hertford, East)
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Milmay, Francis Bingham Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fredk. G. Spear, John Ward
Heath, Sir J. (Staffords., N. W.) Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.
Helder, Augustus Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. Moore, William Stock, James Henry
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hoare, Sir Samuel Morpeth, Viscount Stroyan, John
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Morrell, George Herbert Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Horner, Frederick William Morrison, James Archibald Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Hoult, Joseph Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxfd Univ
Houston, Robert Paterson Mount, William Arthur Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray G. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Hunt, Rowland Myers, William Henry Tollemache, Henry James
Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Nicholson, William Graham Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred. Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H Parker, Sir Gilbert Tuff, Charles
Kenyon, Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W Parkes, Ebenezer Tuke, Sir John Batty
Kerr, John Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington) Tumour, Viscount
Keswick, William Peel, Hon. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Valentia, Viscount
King, Sir Henry Seymour Pemberton. John S. G. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Knowles, Sir Lees Percy, Earl Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Pilkington, Colonel Richard Warde, Colonel C. E.
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow), Platt-Higgins, Frederick Webb, Colonel William George,
Lawrence, Sir J. (Monmouth) Plummer, Sir Walter R. Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End) Pretyman, Ernest George Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Lawson, John G. (Yorks., N. R. Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward Willough by de Eresby, Lord
Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Purvis, Robert Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Randles, John S. Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S Rankin, Sir James Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Ratcliff, R. F. Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Reid, James (Greenock) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.) Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Renwick, George, Wylie, Alexander
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ridley, S. Forde Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Rolleston. Sir John E. L. Alexander Acland-Hood and
Macdona, John Cumming Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Maclver, David (Liverpool) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Burke, E. Haviland Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Burns, John Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Buxton, Sydney Charles Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.
Allen, Charles P. Caldwell, James Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Asher, Alexander Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Doogan, P. C.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Causton, Richard Knight Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)
Asqnith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Cawley, Frederick Duffy, William J.
Barlow, John Emmott Channing, Francis Allston Duncan, J. Hastings
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Cheetham, John Frederick Dunn, Sir William
Beaumont, Wentworth G. B. Churchill, Winston Spencer Edwards, Frank
Bell, Richard Clancy, John Joseph Elibank, Master of
Benn, John Williams Condon, Thomas Joseph Ellice, Capt E C (S. Andrw's Bghs
Black, Alexander William Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Ellis, John Edward(Notts.)
Blake, Edward Crean, Eugene Emmott, Alfred
Boland, John Gremer, William Randal Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Crombie, John William Eve, Harry Trelawney
Brigg, John Gullinan, J. Farrell, James Patrick
Bright, Allan Heywood Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Fenwick. Charles
Broadhurst, Henry Delany, William Field, William
Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.) Mc Crae, George Russell, T. W.
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Mc Hugh, Patrick A. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Flynn, James Christopher Mc Kean, John Schwann, Charles E.
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Mc Kenna, Reginald Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Mc Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Shackleton, David James
Fuller, J. M. F. Mc Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Furness, Sir Christopher Markham, Arthur Basil Sheehy, David
Gilhooly, James Mooney, John J. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Moss, Samuel Slack, John Bamford
Hammond, John Moulton, John Fletcher Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil) Murphy, John Soares, Ernest J.
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Nannetti, Joseph P. Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants
Harrington, Timothy Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Hayden, John Patrick Nussey, Thomas Willans Stevenson, Francis S.
Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Strachey, Sir Edward
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) Sullivan, Donal
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Higham, John Sharpe O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Tennant, Harold John
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Holland, Sir William Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Thomas, JA (Glamorgan, Gow'r
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Donnell, John(Mayo, S.) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Horniman, Frederick John O' Dowd, John Tillett, Louis John
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O' Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Tomkinson, James
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O' Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Toulmin, George
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Malley, William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Johnson, John O' Mara, James Wallace, Robert
Jones, Leif (Appleby) O' Shaughnessy, P. J. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Parrott, William Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Joyce, Michael Partington, Oswald Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Kearley, Hudson E. Paulton, James Mellor Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Kennedy, V. P. (Cavan, W.) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Weir, James Galloway
Kilbride, Denis Perks, Robert William White, George (Norfolk)
Labouchere, Henry Pirie, Duncan V. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Lambert, George Power, Patrick Joseph White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Lamont, Norman Rea, Russell Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Langley, Batty Reckitt, Harold James Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Reddy, M. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) |Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Leese, Sir J F. (Accrington) Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Levy, Maurice Rickett, J. Compton Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Yoxall, James Henry
Lloyd-George, David Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Lundon, W. Robson, William Snowdon TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Lyell, Charles Henry Roche, John Thomas Esmonde and Mr.
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Roe, Sir Thomas Patrick O'Brien.
Mac Neill, John Gordon Swift Rose, Charles Day
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Runciman, Walter

Question put accordingly, "That a supplementary sum, not exceeding£700, be granted to His Majesty, 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"

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 299; Noes, 193. (Division List No.36.)

Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r. Bigwood, James
Allsopp, Hon. George Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds Bill, Charles
Anson, Sir William Reynell Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Bingham, Lord
Arkwright, John Stanhope Banbury, Sir Frederick George Blundell, Colonel Henry
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hon. H. O. Banner, John S. Harmood- Boulnois, Edmund
Arrol, Sir William Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bartley, Sir George C. T. Brassey, Albert
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. HnSir H. Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Bain, Colonel James Robert Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. Hicks Bull, William James
Baird, John George Alexander Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Burdett-Coutts, W.
Balcarres, Lord Bignold, Sir Arthur Butcher, John George
Campbell. Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Pretyman. Ernest George
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Hoare, Sir Samuel Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside Purvis, Robert
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Horner, Frederick William Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hoult, Joseph Randles, John S.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Houston, Robert Paterson Rankin, Sir James
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. JA (Worc. Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Ratcliff, R. F.
Chapman. Edward Hunt, Rowland Reid, James (Greenock)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.) Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Coates, Edward Feetham Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred. Renwick, George
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kennaway, Rt, Hn. Sir John H. Ridley, S. Forde
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kenyon-Slaney. Rt. Hon. Col. W. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Kerr, John Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Keswick, William Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Kirg, Sir Henry Seymour Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Knowles, Sir Lees Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Round, Rt. Hon. James
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lawrence, Sir J. (Monmouth) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Cust, Henry John C. Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawson,Hn.H.L.W. (Mile End) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Davenport, William Bromley Lawson, John G. (Yorks., N. R. Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew)
Dewar, SirT.R.(Tower Hamlets Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Sloan, Thomas Henry
Dickson, Charles Scott Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, A. H. (Hertford, East)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Llewellyn, Evan Henry Spear, John Ward
Doughty, Sir George Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.) Stock, James Henry
Duke, Henry Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee Stone, Sir Benjamin
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Loyd, Archic Kirkman Stroyan, John
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Fergusson. Rt.Hn.SirJ (Manc'r. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Macdona, John Cumming Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf'd Univ.
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Finlay, SirR.B (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs. Maconochie, A. W. Tollemache, Henry James
Fisher, William Hayes M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Fison, Frederick William M'Calmont, Colonel James Tritton, Charles Ernest
FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose Majendie, James A. H. Tuff, Charles
Flower, Sir Ernest Marks, Harry Hananel Tuke, Sir John Batty
Forster, Henry William Martin, Richard Biddulph Turnour, Viscount
Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.) Maxwell. W. J. H (Dumfriesshire Valentia, Viscount
Gardner, Ernest Mildmay, Francis Bingham Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Garfit, William Milner,Rt.Hn.Sir Frederick G Walrond,Rt.Hn.Sir William H.
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Gordon,Hn.J. E.(Elgin & Nairn Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Webb, Colonel William George
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Moore, William Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Graham, Henry Robert Morpeth, Viscount Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Green, W. D. (Wednesbury) Morrell, George Herbert Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Greene, Sir EW(B'ry SEdm'nds Morrison, James Archibald Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.) Mount, William Arthur Wilson-Todd, SirW. H. (Yorks.)
Gretton, John Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray G. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R(Bath
Hain, Edward Myers, William Henry Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hall, Edward Marshall Nicholson, William Graham Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Hambro, Charles Eric Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart
Hamilton, Marq. Of (L'nd'nd'rry Parkes, Ebenezer Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford) Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington) Wylie, Alexander
Hare, Thomas Leigh Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th Pemberton, John S. G.
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Percy, Earl TELLERS FOR THE AYES£Sir
Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Pilkington, Colonel Richard Alexander Acland-Hood and
Heath, Sir J. (Staffords., N.W.) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Helder, Augustus Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Allen, Charles P. Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Asher, Alexander Barlow, John Emmott
Ainsworth, John Stirling Ashton, Thomas Gair Barry, E. (Cork, S.)
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Pirie, Duncan V.
Bell, Richard Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Power, Patrick Joseph
Benn, John Williams Higham, John Sharpe Rea, Russell
Black, Alexander William Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. Reckitt, Harold James
Blake, Edward Holland, Sir William Henry Reddy, M.
Boland, John Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Horniman, Frederick John Reid, SirR. Threshie (Dumfries
Brigg, John Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Richards, H. C. (Finsbury, E.)
Bright, Allan Heywood Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Rickett, J. Compton
Broadhurst, Henry Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Burke, E. Haviland Johnson, John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Burns, John Jones, Leif(Appleby) Robson, William Snowdon
Buxton, Sydney Charles Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Roche, John
Caldwell, James Joyce, Michael Rose, Sir Thomas
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Kennedy, V. P. (Cavan, W.) Rose, Charles Day
Causton, Richard Knight Kilbride, Denis Runciman, Walter
Cawley, Frederick Labouchere, Henry Russell, T. W.
Channing, Francis Allston Lambert, George Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Cheetham, John Frederick Lamont, Norman Schwann, Charles E.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Langley, Batty Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Shackleton, David James
Condon, Thomas Joseph Layland-Barratt, Francis Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Sheehy, David
Crean, Eugene Levy, Maurice Shipman, D. John G.
Cremer, William Randal Lewis, John Herbert Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Crombie, John William Lundon, W. Slack, John Bamford
Cullinan, J. Lyell, Charles Henry Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Soares, Ernest J.
Delany, William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Spencer,Rt.Hn.C.R (Northants
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway MacVeagh, Jeremiah Stevenson, Francis S.
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) M'Crae, George Strachey, Sir Edward
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) M'Hugh, Patrick A. Sullivan, Donal
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Kean, John Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Doogan, P. C. M'Kenna, Reginald Tennant, Harold John
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Duffy, William J. M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Thomas, J A(Glamorgan, Gower
Duncan, J. Hastings Markham, Arthur Basil Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Dunn, Sir William Mooney, John J. Tillett, Louis, John
Edwards, Frank Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Tomkinson, James
Ellice, CaptEC (S. Andrw's Bghs Moss, Samuel Toulmin, George
Ellis, JohnEdward (Notts.) Moulton, John Fletcher Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Emmott, Alfred Murphy, John Wallace, Robert
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Nannetti, Joseph P. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Farrell, James Patrick Nussey, Thomas Willans Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Wason, John C. (Orkney)
Field, William O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) Weir, James Galloway
Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E.) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) White, George(Norfolk)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Dowd, John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Gilhooly, James O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. O'Malley, William Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Mara, James Woodhouse, Sir J T(Huddersf'd
Hammond, John O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Yoxall, James Henry
Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil) Parrott, William
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Partington, Oswald TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Harrington, Timothy Paulton, James Mellor Thomas Esmonde and Mr.
Hayden, John Patrick Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Patrick O'Brien.
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Perks, Robert William

And, it being after half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next.

Committee to sit again this evening.