§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ *MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
said that in moving the Second Reading of the Town Tenants (Ireland) Bill, which had fallen to his lot, he desired, at the start, to inform the House that this was not to be regarded as the Bill of last year. The Bill of last year, he and his friends found, was regarded with serious objection as to some of its features, and as they desired to make some headway on this important question, they had struck out what they believed to be strictly just sections but which were thought by those opposite to be so objectionable. They had consequently reduced the Bill to what was practically a Bill to give compensation to the town tenants of Ireland for improvements which they had made at their own expense. He was glad to say that the Irish Party had made those changes with the full concurrence of that great organisation known as "The Town Tenants' Association in Ireland." Therefore, he hoped that he might anticipate success for the Bill, the Second Reading of which he was now moving. He saw the Chief Secretary present, and he invited the right hon. Gentleman to inaugurate his term of office by allowing the Irish people to have such a small measure of Home Rule, at all events, as was contained in the Bill. The proposals in this Bill were a matter of justice to a very large section of people, and they would not do injustice to any class of people in Ireland. This was an "all Ireland" question from end to end of Ireland. Without distinction of politics or creed the people of Ireland were in favour of this measure; and he thought that the Chief Secretary might well begin his term of office by allowing the Irish people to have their own way in a matter so vitally affecting themselves, and not likely to endanger the integrity of the British Empire.
He proposed to impose upon himself the ten minutes rule, and only meant in moving the Second Reading, to briefly put the principles of it before the House, and that for two reasons. First, because he thought the Bill explained itself satisfactorily to any one who took the trouble 1083 to read it. Second, and for a more important reason, he was anxious that us large a number of Irish Members as possible should have an opportunity of saying what their constituents thought of this measure. The Bill proposed in Clause 1 that a town tenant on quitting a holding might claim compensation from the landlord for improvements made by him or his predecessor in title, which had added to the letting value of the holding. And, in case of dispute over compensation, unless the parties agreed to arbitration, the matter must go before the County Court Judge. He thought that no one would allege, that a County Court Judge in Ireland was likely to be a partial tribunal to the tenant. He thought that if any suspicion of partiality might be entertained at all, it would be that in favour of the landlord and not of the tenant. Therefore, the landlords could not object to going before a tribunal which they had always declared to be the most impartial in the land, and the least expensive. That latter consideration was most important to both landlords and tenants. Then, in the next place, in the event of any dispute between a landlord and a tenant with regard to a claim for compensation for improvements on a holding, such dispute, unless the parties agreed to refer it to arbitration, the Judge in awarding compensation might, in reduction of the tenant's claim, take into consideration the tent at which such holding had been held, and the tenant was not to be entitled to compensation for improvements made before or after the passing of the Act which the landlord undertook to make, unless the landlord failed to carry out his undertaking. Therefore it was left for the landlord to decide the matter. These were not very revolutionary proposals. Again, notice of any proposed improvements by the tenant must be given to the landlord, with a specification or plan of the proposed improvements, and the landlord had a right to object to them, and the reasonableness of the proposal of the tenant was to be decided by the Court. Again, a tenant voluntarily quitting his holding was not to be entitled to compensation if he had had permission from the landlord to sell his interest in improvements to the incoming 1084 tenant, whether the said tenant took advantage of such permission or not. And compensation was not to be payable unless notice was given, and agreed to by the landlord or sanctioned by the Court, except for such improvements as were enforced by order of the sanitary or any other authority and made by the tenant. These were, briefly, the outlines of the measure, which, as he had said, was an "all Ireland Bill."
The only opposition to it, he believed, came from five Gentlemen who might be very excellent Irish landlords, but it was very remarkable that not one of them had a seat in this House for an Irish constituency. He claimed, once more, that this was an "all Ireland Bill," and he was courageous enough even to hope that the Attorney-General for Ireland might see his way to support it. Of course, if the right hon. Gentleman did not, the Irish Members recognised his position as an official member of the Government. The five Gentlemen who had issued a whip against the Second Reading of the Bill held seats for English towns, and he thought that they might have allowed the Irish Members to look after the interests of their own constituents. He knew that two of these hon. Gentlemen were not seeking to come back to this House after the general election; and he was equally certain that other two of them would not get back there, whether they desired it or not. That was the weight of the opposition to this little measure; and he hoped that the Chief Secretary, when he came to speak on the Motion before the House, would keep a steady eye on Ireland and never cast a blink behind him to the people who were only capable of making mischief, and would never do any good at all to Ireland. He had much pleasure in moving that this Bill be read a second time.
§ *MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
said he would like to remind hon. Members that this was not a new subject of discussion in the House of Commons. As long ago as 1886–7 the Towns Holdings Committee was appointed, and subsequently a large volume of evidence hey had seen was issued. But that 1085 Committee presented no Report on account of a change of Government; and subsequently it was thought expedient, according to the views of those who held office, not to approach this difficult question. Nevertheless, the subject of the Bill, the Second Reading of which he had the pleasure of seconding, had occupied the public mind of England and Ireland. Long before he came into Parliament he was obliged to take notice of the grievances with which this Bill dealt, and since he entered the House he had introduced a Bill every session to try and remedy these grievances. Two opportunities were obtained of discussion. On the first occasion the Second Reading was defeated by a large majority, but on the second it was thrown out by a majority of only thirty-seven, and the strange feature about the division was that the only Members from Ireland who voted against the Bill were the official representatives of the Government in Ireland. That proved the proposed measure had the approbation of every section of the Irish community, save and except that of those who were salaried to oppose it. He remembered shortly after he entered the House he presented no fewer than forty-six petitions praying for an amendment of the law relating to town holdings. The majority of those petitions came from Ulster-that portion of Ireland which, in the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite, most truly represented the judgment of Ireland. Lord Peel, who was then Speaker, made the remark that he never knew of any subject on which so many petitions from Ireland had been presented concurrently. The agitation had continued ever since. Only a few days ago he had presented a petition from Blackrock U.D.C. (now a Conservative; Council), Kingstown, Bray, and many other urban councils had also strongly protested—in fact, all Ireland was demanding remedial legislation. This almost unprecedented coalition of political parties should be realised by those who were inclined to oppose the measure now before the House.
He desired, as chairman of the Town Tenants 'Association, to put before the House a short history of that body. The Town Tenants' Association was not in 1086 opposition to any other association; on the contrary, it had the co-operation of the United Irish League, the Land and Labour Association, also various political, non-political, commercial, and trades union societies all over town and country in Ireland. The Town Tenants' Association started spontaneously, and was organised voluntarily, without an official paid organiser. The reason was that a grievance existed in every portion of Ireland, to which attention was directed by the confiscations, rack rents, and hardships endured by town tenants, business men, inhabitant householders, and tenement occupiers in nearly every city, town, and village in Ireland. He thought it was unique in the history of any great association that it should have been started without the assistance of a paid organiser. Councillor Briscoe, who was the hon. secretary, and paid his own expenses, organised no fewer than 200 branches, which were in existence at the present moment, with a central executive and head office in Dublin. Therefore, this was a question which could not be lightly treated by any portion of the House of Commons. He would have hon. Members remember that the security of the homo was the anchor of the State, and that that principle was recognised in every civilised community except in England and Ireland. Innumerable letters had reached him giving instances of confiscations, fines, penalties, spoliation, and eviction; and he was of opinion that this Bill ought not to be a private Member's Bill. It was the duty of the Government to protect every portion of the community, and he could not understand why a responsible Irish Government should be permitted to remain in office while the resident occupiers of town holdings were exposed to the legalised plunder carried out under the existing law. As showing how house property was managed in other countries, he would refer hon. Members to a Return moved for and obtained by the late Lord Randolph Churchill from every Consul in each civilised country. That Return showed that even in Turkey and Russia, where constitutional government is unknown, there was more security for town tenants than in England and Ireland. The Scotch people were too shrewd and clever to submit to the law as it existed in. 1087 England and Ireland, and they had the system of few freeholds. He held that it was the duty of salaried responsible Government to protect every portion o the community, so that they might be able to carry or their avocations with profit to themselves and benefit to the State. He laid down the Conservative principle that the law should not enable a man to appropriate the property of another man at the end of his lease No right of property should be so extended as to conflict with the general interests of the community; but that principle was adopted in English and Irish law relating to town holdings, in opposition to the legal practice of any other country.
Now, how did this system come into existence? It could scarcely be correctly termed statutory law. For he had searched through the Statute-book and found that the terminable leasehold system had been introduced by means of private Bill legislation in olden times, for the purpose of forwarding the benefit of the owners of settled estates, ground landlords, middle men, and house jobbers. He was of opinion that a scheme of such importance, affecting millions of urban residents, should not have been allowed to be smuggled through Parliament by means of private Bill legislation long ago, because these private Bills were not then discussed as they were to-day. He trusted that the Government would take a statesman-like attitude in regard to this measure, because it affected the vast majority of urban residents in England and Ireland. The existing law was a bar to progress and improvement. He further asserted that it was not only against the principle of general utility which should be the basis of all, and obedience thereto, and further it was opposed to common-sense equity and justice. The terminable leasehold system operated in England and Ireland in certain localities to the danger of the community. Those who lived in towns, who were almost as numerous as the agricultural population, were at least entitled to equal protection with those who lived in the country; and it was incumbent on the Government to protect town tenants—leaseholders, inhabitant 1088 householders, and tenant occupiers—from legalised oppressions and injustice. Security had been already conceded to the Irish agriculturist; why not extend it to the urban resident? The old Civil Code laid it down that no man should get rich at another man's expense; but that was precisely what was being done under the present law. He expected there would be no hesitation on the part of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary to adopt this measure which, if he might be allowed to criticise it, did not go far enough. The supporters of the Bill had reduced it to a minimum; and they could not understand how any impartial man could oppose so simple a measure, which only aimed at protecting the property of a man who had created it. He agreed with the hon. Member who had introduced the Bill that the opposition to it by the five hon. Members who had issued a whip against it came from Gentlemen who did not represent Irish opinion. The Romans had a proverb: "Summer jus summa injuria"—the greater the law the greater the injustice. Which quotation accurately defined the existing position in regard to the town tenants of Ireland. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary and the Attorney-General for Ireland realised that they were not in office for the purpose only of drawing a salary, but of forwarding the best interests of the people. Therefore, it was their duty to abstain from using their prestige and influence in opposition to the Bill but leave it to the judgment of the House. He reminded the Attorney-General that only recently in one small town it took eight policemen to protect a process server who was engaged in serving a process on a town tenant. The people paid for the constables, the landlords controlled them; they also controlled the military forces. But there was a greater force than constables or armies and that was the force of public opinion, and when public opinion lad gripped the idea of protecting their rights in the future, the time had come or legislation. The main difficulty he ad experienced as president of the Town Tenants' organisation was to restrain the aggrieved tenants, who believed in the maxim that "Those have rights who dare 1089 maintain them," but in view, possibly, of remedial legislation he advised—What reinforcement we may gain from Hope; If not, what resolution from Despair.As the measure had been so lucidly explained by his friend and colleague the hon. Member for Kilkenny, he trusted that recognising the necessity for justice, and the urgency for this measure, the House would pass the Second Reading by a large majority.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
said he desired to approach this subject from the point of view of equity, and the point of view of that which was also necessary to the prosperity of the country, namely, the point of view of security of property. The hon. Member who seconded the Motion was clear and distinct on one point, which was that this was not merely a Bill for the town tenants of Ireland, but one that he also claimed on behalf of the town tenants of England.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
said he certainly understood the hon. Member to claim this Bill on behalf of the town tenants of England as well, but, however that might be, what he wished to point out was that there was nothing exceptional in the position of town tenants in Ireland to necessitate this measure. This Bill was recommended as a small measure of urban Home Rule; now, whatever their views upon Home Rule might be, it must be remembered that there was a great fundamental difference between the social condition of the rural districts of Ireland as compared with those of this country, but in towns the conditions were the same. Of course predatory instinct was common to all mankind. It was not confined to a particular class or a particular district, 1090 and one of the features of modern politics was the readiness with which Members of the North of Ireland were ready to give expression on behalf of a class to that predatory instinct. Whenever there was a chance of so doing he noticed they were only too delighted to find themselves in the lobby with the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. That predatory instinct had been whetted by legislation adopted in this House, legislation which in 1870 helped to produce that chaotic confusion in the economic condition of Ireland from which that country could only be rescued by the pledging of the resources of this country to the extent of £100,000,000 in order to get Ireland out of the mess into which it had got through that legislation. He submitted, therefore, that the House must be very careful not to take the same step and commence the same course with regard to the towns of Ireland as it had done with the country districts. His submission was that there was no difference between the position of landlord and tenant of a town holding in Ireland and landlord and tenant of a town holding in England, and it appeared to him that this Bill would introduce into the relationship between landlords and tenants in Irish town holdings the litigation, uncertainty, friction, and expense which the legislation of 1881 created between landlord and tenant of Irish agricultural holdings; that was the way in which he saw it, and that was why he opposed the Bill. It seemed to him that it would confiscate the value of reversionary interests which was the chief attraction to small investors in Ireland. This Bill was aimed more at the small investors of Ireland than anyone else, and he thought the House would do well to pause and think carefully before giving a vote on this matter. If there was any difference at all between the towns of England and Ireland that difference lay in the fact that the number of great owners n the towns of Ireland was considerably less than in the towns of England, and it was by reason of the fact that small owners had invested n that class of property that a multitude of small men who had perhaps put their all in small house property would be hit 1091 the hardest; they had no cash to fight or litigate with as they would have to do to defend their interest when this Bill came into operation.
He noticed, in the first place, that the Bill made no distinction between improvements made by the existing tenant or his predecessor. It was to be retrospective in its operation, every existing contract was to be subject to the new law, and all the basis on which the security of property rested was to be disturbed by the operation of this Bill. It conferred on existing tenants rights they never had possessed and never expected to possess, except in modern times through the action of hon. Members for Ireland. The point he wished to make was that there was something better and deeper, more conducive to the prosperity of the country than mere popularity. There was the fundamental principle of securing what belonged to people, rightly and by law, and maintaining contracts fairly entered into between man and man. This Bill went beyond that. In the first place it claimed for the existing tenant improvements not only made by himself, but his predecessor's. In such a clause there was no limit; it carried them back to the time when houses were first built. On whom did the onus lie of proving that the improvements were not made by the landlord himself? The Bill made no difference between residential and business premises. Supposing in a street which was residential a man had purchased two of three houses. It might be that in that street there was no shop and that fact would give a great advantage to anyone opening a business there over shops more remote, which would lead directly to the enhanced value of a shop so opened. Under this Bill the tenant of the middle house of the three might think it a good thing to turn his house into a shop, and all he would have to do vas to give his landlord notice to make the shop and the landlord would have to compensate him when he left. That was all very well, but what would be the result to the houses on either side. It, would depreciate that property in order simply to put money into the pockets of the third party. He further objected to Clause 7, which incorporated Sections 16 to 19 inclusive and Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act of 1092 1870. What was the Act of 1870? The whole foundation of that Act was to secure protection against the landlord exercising his powers to force the tenant out. This Bill dealt not with the question of turning out a tenant but with one who was quitting voluntarily, and the machinery for basing certain claims established under an Act which was to prevent landlords exercising a power to turn out a tenant did not seem applicable to the case of a tenant who was quitting his holding voluntarily. It was clear that the real intention was to introduce, by adopting this method of procedure, into the town the principle of the Act of 1870, out of which grew so much confusion, with the result that the House was compelled to pledge the credit of the British taxpayer to the extent of a hundred millions sterling.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
said that was not the point. He only wished to draw the inference that, looking at the history of the way in which the House had dealt with the land question in Ireland and produced a state of things from which escape only could be found by pledging the British taxpayers' money, they ought to be careful how they extended their operations. The Bill was retrospective. He therefore considered it confiscatory. He believed that one effect would be that wherever the tenure could be terminated before the Act came into operation the rent would be immediately raised and that in itself was likely to produce permanent evil consequences. At any rate it would promote litigation; it would lead to overworking the County Court Judges. [An HON. MEMBER: They want work.] It might be true that at the present time the work of County Court Judges was light, but this Bill would add to it enormously.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
County Court Judges in Ireland work five months in the year; they are idle the remaining seven.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
said that was a very small point indeed, and it was not necessary to enter into it. He only 1093 wanted to point out that the Bill would create enormous pressure upon them.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
said another objection which he had was that the Bill would set landlords and tenants by the ears. The real necessity for Irish prosperity and Irish progress was the restoration of security in property. In his opinion this Bill would further shake that security, and in consequence it would shake the very foundations of the prosperity of the country by plunging the smaller men into litigation and providing work for lawyers and jobbers. He begged to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.
§ MR. HERBERT ROBERTSON (Hackney, S.),
in seconding the rejection of the Bill, claimed that it contained principles of a most objectionable character. It would create enormous difficulties for town tenants. The hon. Member for the St. Patrick's Division had given his view of what the Bill was, but he rather inferred from the speech of the hon. Gentleman that he was thinking more of long building leases than of any other class of holding. He seemed to think that the same difficulty did not occur in Scotland, where few still existed. But, after all, the difference in the two systems was that in one case the lease was granted for ever whereas in the other it was for ninety-nine years.
§ MR HERBERT ROBERTSON
said he supposed he was right in inferring, then, that the hon. Member really meant the Bill to apply in the main bat not entirely to building agreements. He spoke of the conservation of property. It was doubtful whether the word "conservatism" was properly applicable in this case, as they understood conservatism they desired to conserve the general principles of the Constitution, but that could hardly be applied in the case of this Bill. The hon. Member pointed out that ninety-nine years leases were the fume in England as in Ireland, and it 1094 had never been suggested, and indeed he did not think it would be suggested, that there was any real difference between England and Ireland in this respect. But he would like to point out that the Bill in itself was in no sense limited to building agreements. It applied to every kind of tenancy, even yearly and six monthly ones. It was not even confined to towns, for if they looked at the eighth clause they would see that it was provided that holdings were houses, shops, or other buildings occupied for residential and business purposes, and it therefore might be taken to apply, for instance, to his own residence in Ireland, which certainly could not be said to be in a town. In fact, it applied to houses in all parts of the country. The hon. Member seemed to think that under the existing law, if a man granted a lease for ninety-nine years he could at the end of the term take back the property as it then stood. But what was the case? He had built many houses and he had offered to the purchasers two alternatives, either to buy them out and out, in which case the price would be £600, or to take a lease for ninety-nine years at £400. He had had cases in which a man had come to him and stated that he would like to buy the freehold, and he had suggested to him that it was doubtful if he would be wise in doing so, and had urged him to seek the advice of his friends as to whether, for his own purposes, it would not be better for him to lock up £400 instead of £600 of capital. If the man came back and said he preferred to take a lease for £400, what conceivable right could that man be said to have at the end of the term of ninety-nine years? He had voluntarily elected what he would not purchase, and that being so, would any hon. Member opposite say there would be any wrong in the person in whom the freehold was vested taking back the land at the end of the term together with the house built upon it?
§ MR. T. HARRINGTON (Dublin Harbour)
said the Bill did not deal with cases of that kind. It simply provided that if the tenant in the meantime expended his own money in improving the property he should be entitled to compensation.
§ MR. HERBERT ROBERTSON
doubted whether some of the hon. Gentleman's colleagues would assent to the view that the original outlay of the tenant was fully compensated for, and that the Bill was not to affect building leases such as he had described. The grievance he had always heard expressed was not that improvement had been made in the course of the lease, but that a building had been put up at the beginning of the lease, that it was still standing, and would be confiscated at the end of the lease. That was undoubtedly an improvement made by the tenant, and the only words under which the landlord could escape paying compensation were that the Court might take into consideration "the rent at which such holdings have been held, and any benefits the tenant may have received." The length of term would not be treated as a benefit received under that clause, as the tenant would undoubtedly have paid rent in excess of the value of the land as agricultural land. The spirit, if not the words, of the Bill was that compensation should be paid at the end of the lease. But even if it were assumed that the original outlay of the tenant at the commencement of the lease was not to be compensated for, there were cases in which tenants, for their own purposes, during the currency of the lease, materially enlarged the premises. It did not at all follow that from the landlord's point of view those additions would be of the slightest value.
§ MR. HERBERT ROBERTSON
said that was not the effect of the Bill at all. The test of the liability of the landlord to pay compensation was whether or not the land had a higher letting value. The premises if left standing might have a higher value by reason of the additions, but the earlier portions of the building might be in such a condition that the landlord desired to pull the whole of them down. That was a very common occurrence. London was practically rebuilt every hundred years. The character of the neighbourhood 1096 might have altered, or it might be desirable to turn a residential quarter into a manufacturing quarter or a rich district into a poorer district, with smaller houses, or to put up big blocks of buildings, and consequently the landlord would desire to pull down the existing buildings, not because they were rotten, but because circumstances required it. That was constantly occurring in London.
§ MR. HERBERT ROBERTSON
said that Dublin was in exactly the same position as London in that respect, and similar occurrences on a smaller scale happened in the country towns. If the tenant made the alterations without the consent of the landlord, what right had he to compensation? He could understand it if the Bill were limited, not to the letting value, but to the actual benefit derived by the landlord, but that was not the case. The additions were made perfectly voluntarily, and without any intention of ever getting compensation. In nine cases out of ten the property had been sold since the alterations were made, and the man now in possession could not suggest that he had paid anything to entitle him to compensation at the end of the lease. Leases deteriorated in value as the term went on, until during the last few years they were worth practically nothing. That seemed to prove that the tenant who in the past had made additions to the property had no equitable right of any sort to come upon the landlord for compensation.
Turning to the clauses in detail, the Bill would come into operation mainly on the determination of a tenancy, and in some respects it would appear to give fixity of tenure. This clause rather intended that at the end of the tenancy the tenant should have the right to sell a tenancy, and at the end of ninety-nine years he wanted permission to sell. If the landlord said "You may sell," he would be selling something which was approaching fixity of tenure. Therefore this Bill did bring in something like fixity of tenure. But in addition to compensation, as a necessary corollary to it, they had got fixity 1097 of tenure, otherwise when the rents expired there would be an end to the whole transaction. Although he had been referring to ninety-nine years leases only, this clause would, as a matter of fact, apply to any tenancy, however short. That would cause enormous trouble in Ireland. True there were large holdings, but there were a large number of small holdings. In Dublin there might be large areas from which some landlord drew an income mostly from —3 rents, but they had to eliminate the large ground landlord, and having done this he thought they would find that the holders were comparatively small people. So that this was not a case of the rich and the poor. The Bill did not apply to business premises alone, but it applied distinctly to residential premises. Nobody ever contended that a man had in his residence the same interest as a man in his business premises or as a farmer in his farm. If a fanner was turned out he could not readily get another farm in Ireland because there were very few left, and he could not remove to another farm without incurring some loss; but in almost all these small towns and villages there were other houses to be had very easily. Again, a man had not the same interest in a dwelling house in the town as in the country if there was a farm attached. This question could not be treated as applying to ninety-nine years leaseholders only, for it applied to small people who had bought three or four houses, and they would be liable to have to pay money to tenants on their going out. The only people who would benefit by this Bill would be the moderately well off. This measure would relieve those who were fairly well off, who had chosen to expend their money on property which they knew they had only a temporary right to, and it would give them something which they never expected to get when they laid out their money, and which they had no kind of right to receive. This Bill, in principle, applied just as much to England as to Ireland. Feeling strongly that the effect of this Bill would be to injure small holders, whilst it would benefit big leaseholders, and that it would tend to raise rents, he had much pleasure in seconding the Motion of his hon. friend.
To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this-day six months.'"—(Sir John Colomb.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ *MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said he voted for a more drastic Bill last session and he certainly intended to vote for this measure. He had listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Hackney with something like amazement. What was the use of talking about London. Let him just think of the state of the towns and villages in Ireland. There were hundreds of small towns where accommodation, either for business or residence, was of the most meagre character. The landlords would not carry out any improvements. The tenants dare not carry out these improvements, because if they did their outlay would most certainly be confiscated. What was the use, then, of talking about the constant changes in London and the large towns of England and comparing them with the small towns and villages in Ireland, which were in a disgraceful condition. The fact was that the landlords would do nothing and the tenants could not do anything because their expenditure would be confiscated.
The hon. and gallant Member for Great Yarmouth talked a great deal about the foundation of everything being the security of property, and he quite agreed with that statement. Where he found fault with the hon. and gallant Member was that he never seemed to get into his head that anybody else but the landlords had any property in the country. He agreed that security of property lay at the basis of good government in any country, but as a matter of fact they were supporting this Bill because property was not secure in Ireland and because capital expended by the tenant was being; confiscated by the landlord. The question was as to whom this property belonged. They were anxious that the hon. and gallant Member's clients, whose interests he defended with such vigour, should get their own, but they should not be allowed to take and confiscate the property of other people. 1099 When the hon. and gallant Member talked of predatory instincts, and about hon. Gentlemen from Ulster sitting behind him being infected with those predatory instincts, that was a delightful phrase, and he hoped they would see where their comrade was leading them. What else but the predatory instincts of Irish landlords had produced the whole of the land legislation of Ireland. The main object of Mr. Gladstone's Land Bill of 1870 was not so much to settle the land question as to restrain the predatory instincts of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's friends in Ireland, the Irish landlords, who, nevertheles, managed to drive a coach and four through that Act and went on with their predatory instincts until they were over-Taken by subsequent legislation. The tenants' property had to be assessed, defined, and made clear by this House before the Purchase Acts could be brought into operation. People who talked about the predatory instincts of Irish tenants should remember who and by whose action such legislation had been rendered necessary.
It was said that the Bill laid no onus upon anybody to prove the improvements. The hon. and gallant Member knew a good deal about the South but very little about the North of Ireland, or he would know that, whatever else was certain in the North, under the Ulster custom the improvements belonged to the tenant until t he landlord proved that they belonged to him. So far as Ulster was concerned that was the law and it was a very proper law. It was only just, because everybody knew that landlords in Ireland did not make improvements unless under exceptional circumstances, and never made them unless they raised the rent. The right hon. and gallant Member for Yarmouth said that this Bill would hit small men, the men who had saved and scraped money together—and there were a great, many such in Ireland—and put it into house property. Did the hon. and gallant Member think that the Bill proposed to take property from these men? How could they be hit? This was not a Bill to take anybody's property. It was a Bill to prevent men taking the property of other people. Let them take the case of a business man who had a ninety-nine years lease. In the course of his business he improved his 1100 property and spent thousands of pounds upon it. He built additions to it and made permanent improvements. At the end of his lease, what happened under the present law was that all these improvements went to the landlord, and not only that, but he could not claim the business he had built up as his own. He could be I evicted at the end of his lease and his property could be given to another, and then, forsooth, the right hon. and gallant Member and his friends came to this House and talked about the predatory instincts of the people. The false economy that the right hon. and gallant I Gentleman talked about was embodied in all these Irish Land Acts.
The right hon. and gallant Member was right when he said the principle of this Bill should be applied to English tenants as well. This Bill only touched the fringe of a great question. It was thundering at our gates now, and another Parliament would not close without effective legislation taking place on it. Let them look at the condition of the small towns in Ireland and the inability of the tenants to carry out improvements which were necessary, often for decency, and certainly necessary for carrying on business. This Bill was to protect these people. It was to enable I a man to say to the landlord at the end of his lease, "I have spent so much here, it is not yours, it is mine. I do not want to take a farthing that belongs to you. I want rational and fair compensation for what I have done, and of which you will get the benefit when you re-let the premises." That was not robbery.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guild-ford)
Why confine the Bill to Ireland?
§ *MR. T. W. RUSSELL
Although my name is not on the back of the Bill, and I am supporting a measure for which I have no responsibility, I will tell the right hon. Gentleman why it is confined to Ireland. We have an interest in Ireland that we have not in England or Scotland. We have a small number of Members in this House compared with the great majority of English and Scotch Members, and it would be almost an impertinence if the Irish Members were to introduce a Bill dealing with the whole of the 1101 United Kingdom on this question. Continuing, the hon. Members aid it might console the right hon. Gentleman to know that there was a Bill of a similar character for England before the House of Commons now. At all events they confined themselves to Ireland. He had heard the right hon. Gentleman ask that Question about Bills before. He was very fond of asking that the Irish Land Bills should be applied to England. They worked for the Irish Land Bill because they sought legislation for the country they knew, and they left the country they did not know to legislate for itself. They would be admirably satisfied if they could secure this Bill for Ireland. Probably, if they carried it for Ireland the English people would wake up to find they had got some interest in questions of this kind. But, at all events, this Bill was not only limited in its character, so far as the area to which it applied was concerned, but it was a Bill of the greatest moderation. If the Chief Secretary would compare the Bill of last year with this year's Bill, he would be forced to admit that this was a Bill not exhibiting those predatory instincts with which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite sought to frighten them. It was a moderate and reasonable Bill. It was quite possible that certain clauses of the Bill would require to be thrashed out in Committee. He submitted that the object of the Bill was not to take property from the landlord, but to prevent the landlord under certain circumstances taking other people's property. And let him point this out. The Irish representatives were at the House of Commons to-day one hundred strong—and there were two Members from Trinity College but he might be excused if he did not count them us Irish representatives at all—and he know the South and midlands would be solid on this matter. He told the Member from Ulster who opposed this Bill or who scuttled from it and walked out that he would court disaster in Ulster They had made up their minds in Ulster, and just as they fought to protect tenants' improvements on the land they would light also to protect them in the town holdings. They had got the same equities at their back and, although this Bill might be delayed by English Members as Irish Bills had been delayed in the past, the end was perfectly certain, and those 1102 predatory instincts of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke would be effectively restrained and controlled.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
said that in listening to the moderate speeches of the mover and seconder of the Motion for the Second Reading of the Bill he could not help wishing that hon. Members opposite more often devoted themselves to sensible proposals of this kind instead of indulging in violent language and idle dreams about Home Rule. He quite agreed that the hon. Member for South Tyrone, who had now joined his Nationalist colleagues, did not take that view.
§ *MR. T. W. RUSSELL
Will the hon. Member allow me to say once and for all that he was elected on a platform far more Radical than any I ever professed?
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT
I was elected on a platform I have faithfully kept, and I think the hon. Member will find the verdict of our constituencies to be in opposite senses. Continuing, the hon. Member said he would leave these differences aside at present. There was no doubt, at all events, that this Bill dealt with what all who represented Irish constituencies felt to be a real grievance. He thought the objection to the Bill was largely due to an entire misconception of the difference of town tenancy in Ireland from that in England and Scotland. In Ireland the tenant had to carry out and pay for all the improvements made, and it was a very hard thing, if he was a man of special enterprise and business intelligence, that he should be punished for that enterprise instead of rewarded when his lease came to an end. The hon. Member for Hackney had referred to this Bill as one which would introduce a certain fixity of tenure. That was a matter not directly touched upon or intended by the authors of the Bill, but he could not help saying that there were conditions under the system of yearly leases which did a great deal to check business enterprise. It was quite true that landlords were often just and generous men, but they were very often just the reverse. They had the power of restricting enterprise which it was the business of the Irish representatives to 1103 try to develop. The Scotch system of a perpetual lease and a feu duty was far better than the system of short leases in Ireland and England. It gave a sense of independence and security, and it encouraged enterprise and business activity. He had sincerely endeavoured to keep the pledges to which the hon. Member for South Tyrone had referred, because he had advocated his principles openly on the platform and had always voted for them in the House. He had pleasure in once more supporting them.
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
said that up to a certain point the debate had presented several familiar features, but he hoped that the similarity would end there, and that more satisfactory results would await the efforts of the Irish Members than on previous occasions. When the Bill was last before the House it was supported by the entire Irish representation with the exception of the official voice. He hoped that that would not be the case on the present occasion. A new development had been given to the doctrine of Unionism by the speeches which had been delivered by two hon. Gentlemen representing English constituencies. One of the arguments against Home Rule was that this House could legislate for Ireland better than an Irish Parliament; but here was a measure called for by the united voice of Ireland, which was acknowledged to be necessary, and yet was not to be applied to Ireland because it would not be suitable to certain towns in England. As regarded the hon. Members for Yarmouth and South Hackney, for whom the hands on the dial of time never went forward, they represented not only English constituencies, but also Irish landlordism in its most reactionary form. These hon. Gentlemen appeared to overlook the fact that a Select Committee on Town Tenants Holdings sat for three years, 1887–8–9, and heard evidence from England, Wales, and Ireland. That Committee reported that they thought the case for the alteration of the law in order to secure compensation to a tenant for improvements was stronger as regarded Ireland than as regarded England owing to the prevailing system of short leases. The Bill proposed that the law should be altered so as to 1104 give lessees and tenants of business premises a right to compensation for the improvements they had effected. The Bill of last year was opposed because it was too wide and too far-reaching and contained certain drastic provisions. All those had been eliminated from the present Bill which was a modest and a moderate measure. Yet it was opposed by hon. Gentlemen who, politically speaking, had no connection with Ireland in the same wholesale fashion as they opposed the previous Bill. Any measure containing even the smallest modicum of justice to Ireland would be opposed by these Gentlemen; but he hoped the Government would not follow in their wake.
The hon. and learned Member for South Hackney fell into a curious confusion of ideas. He seemed to think that there was a comparison between Mayfair and Mallow, and Belgravia and Ballydehob or Ballyhooley. The hon. Member argued that because certain provisions in the Bill would not suit Mayfair that therefore justice should not be done to Mallow, and that because it did not suit Belgravia it should be applied to Ballydehob or Ballyhooley. Was there anything more sad than to see a large number of houses in a state of decay because if they were improved the value of the improvements would at the expiration of the lease be confiscated. Surely there were rights in property other than the rights of landlords. They were all agreed as regarded the security of property; but should not the occupier, the industrial trader, and the cultivator of the land be also protected. Many of the arguments of the hon. Gentlemen were more suitable to the Committee stage, and it was obviously impossible to follow them through their labyrinthine arguments; but if the Bill were sent to a Committee they would be met. The broad principle, however, on which the Bill was based was protection for tenants. All classes in Ireland were unanimous in their desire to develop trade and industry, but would factories be built and industries started under such conditions as obtained at the present time? In one instance he knew of a great industry that had been built up and workmen's cottages had been erected 1105 round the factory on forty years leases, at the end of which time the lord of the soil might come down and scatter the workmen and take possession of their holdings and all their improvements, and of the factory, which he could either close and destroy or else by insisting upon an extra and heavy profit rental so paralyse that industry as to make it unprofitable. Under the present law no security existed for property, and it was for that reason that this Bill was introduced. The Irish Party had striven, and not without some success, to improve the position of the agricultural community of Ireland; by this Bill they were attempting to do something for those who lived in the town. When the House recognised, as it must, that all sections of the people in Ireland, whatever their politics or religion might be, were unanimously in favour of a measure of this kind it was unjust and unfair that the views of a few English Members who had neither concern nor interest in Ireland should prevail against the voice of that country.
§ MR. EDWARD MITCHELL (Fermanagh, N.)
thought it would be unwise at this stage of the Bill for anyone to deal with the details, which might well be left to a Committee. In his opinion, however, the Bill erred on the side of moderation. In Ireland there was a very strong feeling that something should be done in this matter, which was quite as much a burning question so far as the townspeople were concerned as ever the land question had been in the country. He hoped the Government would see their way to do something to recognise the claims and the merits of this Bill, and that the Chief Secretary would give a favourable reply to the demands made in so reasonable a way by the Irish Members, because there was a very great need of reform in this matter. So far as he was concerned he did not consider the Bill went far enough. Although the first clause recognised the paramount necessity for the tenant being recompensed for improvements in other respects, the Bill did not go to the real root of the grievance in respect to house property. Why should the builder of a house be compelled at the expiry of the 1106 lease to give up his entire property. It was said by the hon. Member for Hackney that the tenants took these leases with their eyes open. That might be perfectly true, but the reason was obvious. The landlords would not give any others, and tenants were compelled to take these very short and imperfect leases because in the majority of cases they could not obtain long ones. If the ground landlords insisted upon giving these short leases it was unjust and unfair not to compensate the tenants for their improvements when the leases expired and the property returned to the landlords, who had done nothing to bring these improvements about. Why should a greedy and rapacious landlord be allowed to take a property built by another person and which he himself had not placed one stone upon another to obtain? This was one of the bases of reform which must be relied upon if there was to be satisfactory legislation dealing with house property in Ireland. He regretted extremely that it did not appear in the Bill; that was one of the defects in the measure, but he had no doubt that it would be remedied in Committee. He had pleasure in supporting the Bill.
§ MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)
said he felt compelled not only to support this Bill by his vote, but to speak in its favour and to try and induce other Members if possible to go into the lobby in support of it also. It was supported by every Member of the House representing an Irish constituency, except the official Members, and he believed if the Attorney-General for Ireland were in a position of greater freedom and less responsibility he also would support it. The only two dissentient voices had come from Gentlemen not Irish themselves or representing Irish constituencies.
§ MR. HEMPHILL
apologised to the hon. and gallant Baronet, but said he had always understood he hailed from the northern part of the United Kingdom. Although he was, he believed, born in Dublin, he believed it was once 1107 said that a man was not a horse because he was born in a stable.
§ MR. HEMPHILL
said it was an undoubted fact that the tenants' holdings in Ireland were dwindling, and had been dwindling during the whole of the last century, and it was time some means should be devised and something done to try and check the downward movement. He was astonished to hear the lion, and gallant Member vindicate his opposition to this Bill on the ground of equity and of security of property, seeing that those were the grounds upon which the Bill was supported. The law of landlord and tenant in Ireland was against the first principles of justice. It was a fragment of the old feudal system, according to which none but the lords of the soil had any right to participate in the profits there from. The old maxim of feudalism was cujus est solum ejus est usque ad coelum. Which meant that whoever was the owner of the soil owned anything from the surface up to heaven, and anything from the surface downwards, though a tenant spent hundreds and thousands of pounds in improving a holding, made additions to his business premises to bring them up to date, and spent considerable amounts in adapting modern appliances in order to make the place habitable. All that was lost when he left, and all the money which he had expended in making those improvements went to the landlord. Such a principle was against the first ideas of natural justice. The Bill before the House sought to alter that. With respect to the improvements which had been made, he would say that where a tenant made improvements, if at the expiration of his tenancy he had to leave, then the value of those improvements, to the extent to which they had enhanced the value of the house or premises, should not go into the landlord's pocket, but into the pocket of the man who was responsible for those improvements. It was a notorious fact that in some parts of Dublin property had been improved by tenants at a very considerable expense, and yet by the law of the land no allowance 1108 was made for those improvements. The same might be said of business premises where a man had added to his premises. All those additions went, under the common law, to the landlord, and must do so unless some such Bill as this became law. He therefore appealed to every fair-minded man to support the Second Reading of this Bill.
Then so far as security of property was concerned, this Bill secured property to the man who was the real owner of the property. He did not propose to criticise the details of the Bill, which could be very well left to the Committee stage. The measure was well drawn, and although it might require some correction and might be improved in Committee the broad principle was perfectly comprehensive and required no criticism. Before sitting down he would just call attention to the fact that there was no reciprocity in the relations between landlords and tenants. A landlord, at the end of a lease, might sue his tenant for dilapidations and disrepairs, and enforce his claim often by ruinous litigation. But the existing law allowed no set-off to the tenant for additions or improvements made to the landlord's property. The landlord got everything, and the tenant had no satisfaction. It had always struck him as a most unjust anomaly of the law. He urged the Chief Secretary to bear in mind the serious consequences that might result from checking the almost unanimous desire of the inhabitants of the Irish towns and villages for the passing of some such measure as this. He trusted the House would not criticise, in minute details, the sections of the Bill, but would affirm the principle that they who sowed should reap, that the men who spent money in improvements should get the benefit of those improvements.
§ MR. MOONEY (Dublin County, S.)
said that the Member for Hackney had pronounced views upon the subject which it would be extremely entertaining to hear him advocate in his own constituency. The fact was that the landlords' interests were quite sufficiently protected under the Bill, the principle embodied in which was that if a business man took a house and by his industry built up in 1109 connection with it trade which required that he should make structural alterations, he should not lose the fruits of his industry and his applied intelligence. The case of Kingstown was a very remarkable instance of the nature of the relations existing between landlords and town tenants. There, in that large and flourishing municipality, the landlords—Lord Longford and Lord De Vesci—had spent nothing on the development of the property, and had not behaved in that respect in the way which was usual with English landlords. Roads had been built and the conveniences of modern life had been provided by the town itself—by the ratepayers. The tenants had originally very poor and unsubstantial buildings in which to carry on their vocations; but Kingstown developed from the condition of a very small village into a flourishing place, in fact the wealthiest place of its kind in the whole of Ireland, not by any effort or outlay that had been made by the landlords, but solely as the result of the energy and intelligence of the people. The shopkeepers, in order to keep pace with general progress, had been impelled to improve, and had improved. What happened then? Some leases fell in, others were yet to fall in. When a lease terminated, and the tenant went for a renewal, he was met by the agent with, "Yes, of course; but you will be charged from 100 to 200 per cent. more than your present rent." That was because the premises were worth more—had been made worth more, in fact, by the tenant. Then, in cases where a new lease was granted, the tenant had to rebuild. That, of course, could not in most cases be fairly objected to, but see what happened when the plans were produced. Plans were designed to suit the requirements of the business. The decision of the agent was—"Oh, we do not care about your plans or the requirements of your business; you must fall in with our general views upon the subject of the estate." What was the reply to be in a case of that kind? The tenant had created the business interest. It was not easy to move out and carry the business interest along with him, and so the tenant could not decline to accede to this arbitrary 1110 demand. Surely that was a case for which there should be some remedy.
§ *MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)
said he realised, as everyone must, that in voting for this measure they were voting for what constituted a very serious invasion of the. rights of property. At the same time he was in sympathy with the Bill. He was extremely glad to find that the introducer of the Bill had confined himself to the question of compensation for improvements. He thought it would be extremely unwise and unjust on their part by any action they might take to-day to make this measure retrospective as was proposed in the Bill itself. When it reached the Committee stage he should do his best to have the clause dealing with the retrospective action of the Bill revised, as also Clause 8, because he did not think residential holdings should be brought within its scope. This was not in any sense of the word a working-man's Bill; it was a Bill designed to better the condition of the tenants of business premises in I country towns, and looking at it from that point of view he was glad to be able to support it. In his opinion it could not in any way ameliorate the condition of the working man. He felt that the conditions in this Bill, if they included workmen's houses and residential properties of all sorts, would act as a great deterrent to capitalists or other who had money to spend and intended to spend it in building small houses. If there were to be innumerable claims for improvements hanging over one he thought it would seriously deter men from spending money in that way. What effect would such a Bill have on a large town like Belfast, where the building of small houses was a great industry, employing a large number of men and acting as an outlet to a large number of small capitalists? So far as the shop keepers in a country town were concerned the principle contained in this Bill was a perfectly sound one and one which he hoped the House would affirm. He thought that this question of compensation was one on which all reasonable people, whether in Ireland, England, or Scotland, had realised that some change must be made. He could not see on what basis a claim could be made that a 1111 man who had spent his own money on improvements should not get the benefit of them when his tenancy had run out. It was a general principle that one man should not reap the benefit of money expended by another man, especially when the improvements increased the value of the freehold. The hon. Member for South Tyrone had uttered certain threats against the Ulster Members should they vote against this Bill.
§ *MR. CHARLES CRAIG
said all he could say was that neither threats nor warnings from the hon. Member would ever have the slightest effect on anything he might say or do in the House
§ *MR. CHARLES CRAIG
said he was glad to hear that assurance from the hon. Member. The hon. Member had on more than one occasion given them advice or threats as to the course they should pursue in regard to measures before the House, and he repeated that such threats or advice would not alter the views or actions of any of the Ulster Members in the slightest degree.
§ MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY
said he regarded this Bill as a very moderate and just measure, and he would give it—not the half-hearted support rendered by the last speaker—but most hearty support because he felt that nothing could be fairer than that when a town tenant spent his money and employed labour on improving his house, or devoted his time and ability to making a business of it, he should, when quitting, be compensated for these improvements when they added to the letting value of the premises. He was sure that if that became the law it would be a great inducement to people in towns to make improvements which under present circumstances they would not contemplate. Why, they naturally asked, should they spend their money in improving their holdings when on the 1112 expiration of the tenancy the landlord could put them out without any compensation at all—when, in other words, he could confiscate their improvements? The sole effect of the present state of the law was to bar industrial progress. Tenants who had disregarded the law had found out to their cost that it was neither a wise nor a profitable thing to do. Take the case of Kingstown; that was only an illustration of what was; going on all over Ireland. Great injustice was done to the shopkeeper who, after he had made his business valuable, was turned out of his house at the end of his tenancy without any compensation, and often could find no suitable premises near to which he could remove. The Town Tenants Bill of last year was wider in its scope than the present measure, because it not only provided compensation for improvements. but also for the fixing of fair rents, and it also embodied the principle of purchase. All the Irish Members present, with the exception of the Law Officers of the Crown, voted in favour of that Bill, but they were defeated in a House of 361 Members by thirty-seven votes, and he submitted it was not fair that hon. Gentlemen representing British constituencies, who probably had not heard a word of the debate, should at the call of the Party whip flout Irish opinion. The voice of the Irish nation thus unanimously expressed should have received greater consideration, and nothing could be more exasperating to the Irish Members than that an important measure of that nature, so vital to the interests of Ireland, should be defeated by those who had not listened to the debate and, therefore, were not dealing with the question on its merits. Town tenants were a most deserving class of the community. They required this protection against covetous landlords, who were ever ready to swoop down upon them and take away from them the fruits of many years of toil and industry. It was to prevent that that this Bill had been introduced. He hoped that the Irish Secretary would not take up a non possumus attitude, and that even if he could not give the Bill his support he would refrain from making it a Government question, and allow his supporters to vote as they thought just.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALTER LONG, Bristol S.)
I congratulate myself very heartily on the fact that the first occasion on which I have been called upon to take part in a debate on an Irish Bill has been so distinguished by its business-like and practical character. I think we are indebted to the mover and seconder of the Bill for the brevity of their speeches. They set an admirable example, thus adopting a principle laid down by my hon. and gallant friend the Member for Essex, which I hope may be followed in other debates. The speech of the hon. Member for the St. Patrick Division has revealed to me, though, that there are fresh terrors for an Irish Chief Secretary even in addition to those have already had to encounter, for it seems that, in addition to having to answer interrogations on every conceivable subject, it is also possible that the Chief Secretary may from time to time be called on to undergo a careful examination in the classics.
Appeals of a twofold character have been made to me in connection with the Bill before the House, the first being that I will approach the question from a practical point of view and not by way of a narrow interpretation of the clauses of the Bill. What little I have to say to the House will not be directed to any close examination of particular clauses, for I admit that what we have to chiefly concern ourselves with on this Second Reading stage is the general principle of the Bill. I also admit that the claim made by the mover of the Second Reading that the Bill is a very different one from that of last year has every foundation in fact. It differs in two respects—it is different because it is in itself more moderate in regard even to the particular subject of compensation for improvements in town holdings, and also because it omits various other clauses which were included in last year's Bill. I, therefore, accept the position that we have to deal with a Bill far more moderate than that which was rejected last year.
A second appeal has been made to the effect that I should have regard to the remarkable unanimity of opinion among the Irish representatives and should not oppose any obstacle to the passing of the Bill in face of that condition of things. That would be an argument very difficult 1114 to answer if it had been shown that this Bill is demanded by a condition of things in Ireland which is not to be found in the rest of the country or that the principles involved would not be applicable to other parts of the country. The majority of the arguments that have been addressed to the House have been used in order to show how great is the hardship upon the tenant who, when his lease expires, realises that he has out of his own pocket made valuable improvements to the property suitable for the purposes for which the property was intended, and that he is called on to surrender to the landlord the whole value of those improvements. Yes, but that argument must find a hearty response in the breasts of many of us in this House who are in precisely the same position. I, for instance, am the owner of a leasehold house in London, and have effected many improvements in it, but those improvements will—unless, the law is altered in the meantime—pass from me to the landlord, without compensation to me, when the lease runs out. Therefore I say it is impossible, however anxious we may be to pay regard to unanimity of opinion in Ireland, to treat this question as if it affected Ireland only—as if the condition of things in Ireland differed from those existing in other parts of the United Kingdom, or as if, when the principle of compensation was once admitted in Ireland, a demand for its extension to other parts of the United Kingdom could be refused. On the Government, in such a matter, is a responsibility quite different from that which falls upon private Members, for not only must they be satisfied that the principle of a Bill is sound, and that its adoption by the Legislature will be just to the recipients, and benefit them without injustice to others, but they must also be satisfied that the method by which it is intended to apply the principle is workable, and will not effect injustice to others. They must also be convinced that the: principle is workable. But while I cannot accept the unanimity of the Nationalist Members as a complete reason for giving support to this Bill, I ask the House to believe that my criticism will be made in no captious spirit, or with any lack of appreciation of the fact that there is in favour of this Bill an amount of unanimity of opinion which is 1115 seldom to be found in regard to Irish questions.
The central principle of the Bill is that compensation should be paid to the tenant of a town holding on the principle on which, under the Act of 1870, compensation was given to the tenant of an agricultural holding. But surely we have the highest authority against this, for when in 1886 a Bill similar to this was under the consideration of the House, both the right hon. Member for Montrose and Mr. Gladstone laid down in clear and precise language the fundamental differences between agricultural and town holdings in regard to improvements. Both of them opposed, in regard to town holdings, the principle of compensation, and pointed out with what great difficulties its application would be met. The definition of the Bill given by the hon. Member for South Dublin was that when a tenant effected improvements which added to the value of his holding, with the consent of the landlord, it would be an injustice if he did not receive compensation. But is that not far short of what this Bill proposes to do? It proposes, undoubtedly, to give certain protection to the landlord, but it does not follow that, if the landlord were to object to the improvements, his objection would prevent it from being effected.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
It is quite obvious that the whole difficulty centres on this question whether you can define accurately and with justice to both parties what is the improvement effected. The principle adopted in the Bill of 1886 was that a tenant was entitled to compensation if he had cultivated his land in a, way which gave it a productive power, and left in it a state of fertility that it would not otherwise have possessed. In that case there was no difficulty in defining the improvement, because it was an improvement of the land for productive purposes. But we are dealing here with a class of property the use of which may be, and frequently is, varied from time to time, and it does not follow that the particular use to which a particular tenant puts the property of a landlord, and for which he expends money, is a use to which the 1116 landlord would desire to put it, or that it would be a use to which the landlord could employ it when the tenant left. That seems to be the essential difference between the principle underlying the Act of 1870 and that sought to be applied by this Bill.
It has been said, I believe with absolute truth, by my hon. friends on this side of the House that if this principle be adopted it will not apply, at all events in the great majority of cases, to what we understand by the great landlords. In our previous debates we have been face to face with the difficulty between the great landlords and their tenants, but all these arguments are inapplicable to the present case, because with the exception of those towns which are connected with the great demesnes I imagine it will not be denied that you will find that ownership is as much distributed amongst different people as you will in any other part of the country. It must be remembered that it is a common form of investment for the poorer classes of the country when they have money to invest. Probably one of the reasons which has brought it about is that it is property which can be seen and kept under observation, and is fairly remunerative, because tenants can easily be found. If you except those towns, which form part of great estates, this class of propelty is held by smaller men. The House must realise that they are going to throw upon these smaller men a heavy burden against which it will be difficult for them to safeguard themselves by fresh contracts, and if they should so safeguard themselves, the very benefit you seek to confer upon the occupying tenant is destroyed by the contract which protects the original owner of the property.
I need not go into such details as the complexity which exists as regards ownership of land in Ireland. You may have one, two, or three owners, and you may have different interests in the property. All these are practical difficulties which make it dangerous for the House to accept the principle of legislation of this kind, which if adopted in Ireland could not, I believe, by any possibility or by any form of justice be denied to the rest of the United Kingdom. 1117 I do not attach any importance to the argument that because the Bill applies only to Ireland therefore it should not have a Second Beading. Representatives of Ireland are much interested in this question, and believe that the amendment of the law proposed in this Bill ought to be made; therefore, having been fortunate in the ballot, they cannot be blamed for endeavouring to deal with the question so far as it affects their own country. What I ask the House to remember is that every argument which has been used in the course of the debate in reference to Ireland applies equally to this country. If they believe this principle to be sound and right as applied to the tenants of town holdings, and that the law can be so amended without injury to small owners or to the work going on in connection with the improvement of working-class dwellings, or to the development of towns by the clearing away of slum areas, the provision of open spaces, and the general improvement of the conditions under which the working classes live, they are by all means entitled to vote for the Second Reading of the Bill. Personally, I cannot hold that view; I do not think the case has been fully established; but, on the other hand, it is certainly not my intention to give any directions, even if it were in my power to do so, as to the way other Members should vote. I am a strong believer in the principle that, wherever possible, the House of Commons should be left to express its opinions without any directions from, or control by, the Government, and this is essentially a case where that principle should be applied. I have stated briefly, but I hope clearly, the reasons which make it impossible for me to vote for the measure, but, so far as those Members who usually act with me are concerned, I fully recognise that the Bill involves principles which do not divide Parties in the ordinary sense, and therefore Members should be asked to express their opinions according to the judgment they have formed on the facts which have been placed before them. I hope the House will vote on the question, appreciating the difficulties and possible risks, and also with a full sense of responsibility, inasmuch as an alteration of this kind, 1118 once made, may have very far-reaching effects on the general law of the country.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
thanked the Chief Secretary for his speech, and especially for the intimation that he did not propose to exercise any pressure upon his followers as to the manner in which they should vote. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to have only one objection against the Bill. He admitted the principle on which the Bill was founded to be a just one, viz., that if a tenant had made improvements which added to the letting value of the house he should be compensated for them.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
No, I said the principle of compensation was an attractive one to leaseholders, but I endeavoured to show that it was extremely difficult to apply.
§ MR. CLANCY
said he understood the right hon. Gentleman to go so far as to admit that if certain facts were proved the inference would follow that the Bill was required in point of justice. If the right hon. Gentleman admitted that under certain circumstances it was just that a man who spent his money on improvements should be compensated at the expiration, of his tenancy, the case for the Bill was made out. The only other reason for voting against the Bill was one of the weakest ever put forward, but at the same time it was one with which Irish Members were very familiar, viz., that the principle was capable of being extended to England, and, therefore, although just in its application to Ireland, it should not be allowed to pass because it might be unjustly applied in England. That was surely another argument in favour of Home Rule. The Irish people were to be denied just and beneficial legislation because, this being a united Parliament, the principle must be extended to England.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I really did not use that argument. What I said was that in my opinion no arguments had been used to distinguish the case of Ireland from that of Great Britain, that the case as put applied equally all over the United Kingdom, and that unless you 1119 could justify the principle which I ventured to criticise you could not justify the demand for one part of the country alone.
§ MR. CLANCY
understood the right hon. Gentleman to say the circumstances of the two countries were not the same. But whether they were the same or not, if the principle was just in regard to Ireland why should it not be applied? If the circumstances were the same, apparently the principle ought also to be applied to England, but Irish representatives, of course, were not concerned with that. After the speech of the right hon. Gentleman there was really nothing to answer; the only thing left to do was to take the division, and, on the principles laid down by the right hon. Gentleman himself, if the facts in Ireland were as had been stated without contradiction in the course of the debate, the bulk of the supporters of the Government would be bound to support the Bill.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)
agreed that if Ireland had a grievance for which a just remedy was proposed the fact that a similar grievance existed in England was no argument against the remedy being applied in Ireland. The whole question turned on whether or not the remedy proposed was a just one, and he submitted that in this case it was most unjust. The principle which underlay this Bill was practically the beginning of the Irish land agitation. Certain concessions were made to the tenants by the landlords, and then further concessions were demanded, and he believed that if the concessions demanded by this Bill were granted further concessions would be demanded in the course of a few years, with the inevitable result that sooner or later they would be in the same position with regard to town holdings as they had been with regard to agricultural holdings in Ireland. The British taxpayer was a long-suffering person, but he was not anxious to have to provide large sums of money for the purpose of enabling town tenants to purchase their holdings as he had recently done in the case of agricultural tenants. He should have thought the House had had enough of these contraventions of the principles of 1120 political economy. The only way of successfully carrying on the enterprise of a country was to leave people to make their bargains between themselves without State interference. The case was put very simply by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose in 1886, and the statements then made, to which hon. Members had already referred, were sufficient to justify the House in voting against this Bill. Clause 1 would enable a tenant to claim compensation for improvements made by his predecessor in title. Such a proposal, he thought, was absolutely unjustifiable. The only conceivable contention in its favour was that the mere fact of hiring a house gave the tenant a right to the unearned increment of any rise in value which might take place. Such a doctrine could not be justified, and if carried out to its fullest extent would lead to serious consequences. Moreover, people would differ as to the value of an improvement. In an agricultural holding, an improvement was made for the purpose of increasing the productiveness of the soil, and anything which did that was a benefit to the holding. But in regard to a house in a town, improvements which suited the tenant who made them might actually cause a deterioration in value when the time for relatting came. He instanced the case of a friend of his who spent £25,000 in improvements on a house for which he gave £10,000, and the property had since been sold for £8,000. In such a case as that under this Bill the landlord might have been called upon to pay compensation for that £25,000 which had been actually lost. ["No."] Why not?
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
asked how that was to be ascertained. The proposed reference to a Court would introduce all the evils of the Irish Land Court. Another result of the Bill would be to prevent all the improvements in towns and villages, because a landlord would not be able to see his way to pull down property on the expiration of a lease, in consequence of having to pay compensation for improvements previously effected, the value of which would 1121 be entirely lost. What was really wanted was to encourage capitalists to invest money in the building of houses. The evils of overcrowding in towns would never be remedied if such onerous terms were placed upon capitalists who wished to invest their money as to render it practically impossible for them to receive any adequate return for their money, or to be sure that the money they had invested would be secured to their heirs. Such proposals as these often secured support because they were only superficially examined. No doubt under this Bill certain people would receive a certain benefit, but the loss to the community would more than counterbalance the small gain to the immediate tenant. Then the Judge was to be assisted by two assessors remunerated respectively by the two parties to the case. The result of that could only be to lengthen the proceedings and to introduce a very objectionable element. Personally, if he had to go to arbitration he would far rather have one arbitrator than two or three, and there would be much more likelihood of a reasonable and equitable decision. There would also be introduced the element of expense which had so complicated the proceedings of the Irish Land Court. The only people who would really benefit under the scheme would be the lawyers and the assessors. Last year a somewhat similar Bill was defeated by a considerable majority; he sincerely hoped a similar fate awaited the present measure. The Bill would introduce the beginning of Socialism, which he was afraid was spreading considerably in this country, and which he regarded as the greatest evil that could possibly befall any country.
§ MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)
thought it was incumbent upon Members, when a Bill was introduced which they thought would be deleterious not only to Ireland but in the long run to other parts of the United Kingdom, to say what they thought with regard to the merits of the measure. The present Bill, in his opinion, was a bad one. It started under false pretences, inasmuch as, although described as a "Town Tenants" Bill, it contained nothing about towns or town tenants, but would apply to almost every house throughout the country, with the 1122 possible exception of agricultural holdings. He was informed that about 350,000 houses would come under the operation of the Bill, and yet not a word had been said in favour of the principle of the measure. It was not disputed that the tenure of houses in Ireland was practically the same as in England or Scotland. The agreements were arrived at between landlord and tenant, who were quite capable of looking after themselves, and hitherto they had not thought fit to introduce any provisions with regard to compensation for improvements. It was now proposed that, instead of leaving these things, as they ought to be left, to the bargaining of the individuals concerned, the State should step in. An endless amount of expense would be incurred in determining what amount of compensation was to be paid for improvements which the landlord had not sanctioned and did not desire. Other speakers had pointed out how the Act would work in particular cases. The tenant might come forward with a proposal to spend a good deal of money on the property and the landlord might think that such expenditure would not really improve his property and probably would decline to give his sanction. Under this Bill, when the tenancy expired the landlord would have to pay for those so-called improvements which might have been effected wholly and entirely against his will. Any, arrangement of that kind would be extremely inconvenient to the landlord, for it did not follow that it would be convenient for him to pay down at once a lump sum equal to the capital value of the improvements. As the landlord never made his arrangements with any idea that such a demand was likely to be made upon him it would be extremely unjust to pass such a clause as the one which made such provision. He did not know whether hon. Members opposite were more fond of litigation than he was, but he rather gathered from the proposals in this Bill that they were, because he could not conceive of a measure that would cause more vexatious legal proceedings between landlord and tenant than this Bill. This measure was not founded upon natural justice, it was throwing an apple of discord in Ireland, and would turn out to be a fruitful source of litigation and dispute 1123 It was because he thought this Bill would produce a large amount of bad blood that he hoped the House would reject the Second Reading.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 146; Noes, 89. (Division List No. 86.)1125
|Abraham, William (Cork. N. E.)||Flynn, James Christopher||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||O'Connor. John (Kildare, N.)|
|Allen. Charles P.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Grant, Corrie||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||O'Dowd, John|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Hammond, John||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.|
|Bell, Richard||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Malley, William|
|Benn, John Williams||Harrington, Timothy||O'Shaughnessy, P. J|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Harwood, George||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Blake, Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Reddy, M.|
|Boland, John||Hayden, John Patrick||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Roche, John|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Higham, John Sharpe||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Horniman, Frederick John||Rose, Charles Day|
|Burns, John||Hunt, Rowland||Runciman, Walter|
|Burt, Thomas||Jacoby, James Alfred||Russell, T. W.|
|Caldwell, James||Joicey, Sir James||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Cameron. Robert||Jordan, Jeremiah||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Campbell. John (Armagh, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W.||Sheehy, David|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Kilbride, Denis||Slack, John Bamford|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lambert, George||Spear, John Ward|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Langley, Batty||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Clancy, Joseph||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Sullivan, Donal|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tennant, Harold John|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lough, Thomas||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Lundon, W.||Thomson. F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Crombie, John William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Tillett, Louis John|
|Crooks, William||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Cullinan, J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Dalziel, James Henry||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Wallace, Robert|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Delany, William||M'Kean, John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Denny, Colonel||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Mitchell, Ed. (Fermanagh, N.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Douglas. Chas. M. (Lanark)||Mooney, John J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Duffy, William J.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Murphy, John||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Elibank, Master of||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Evans. Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Wood, James|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Young, Samuel|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Field, William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas Esmonde and Cap-|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.||tain Donelan.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Clive, Captain Percy A.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bingham, Lord||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. F.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cohen, Benjamin Louis|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Bond, Edward||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Cripps, Charles Alfred|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bowles, Lt-Col. H. F. (Middlesex||Dalrymple, Sir Charles|
|Balcarres, Lord||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St John||Davenport, William Bromley|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Bull, William James||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Campbell, Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. NR||Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew|
|Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Smith, H. C. (North'mb Tyneside|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Maxwell, Rt. Hn.Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Forster, Henry William||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Tuff, Charles|
|Garfit, William||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Nicholson, William Graham||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H.|
|Helder, Augustus||Percy, Earl||Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Horner, Fredk. William||Platt-Higgins, Fredrick||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Purvis, Robert||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H,|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred||Reid, James (Greenock)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Ridley, S. Forde||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Royds, Clement Molyneux||John Colomb and Mr.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Herbert Robertson.|
|Lawrence, Win. F. (Liverpool)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
Bill read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Law, etc."—(Mr. Patrick O'Brien.)1126
§ a Committee of the House was the proper body to discuss a Bill of this character. The Bill was far-reaching in its character and controversial, and it ought not to be sent to the Standing Committee.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 148; Noes, 80. (Division List No. 87.)1127
|Abraham, William, Cork, N. E.||Dalziel, James Henry||Hunt, Rowland|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Allen, Chas. P.||Delany, William||Joicey, Sir James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Denny, Colonel||Jordan, Jeremiah|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay(Galway||Kennedy, Vincent P (Cavan, W|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Kilbride, Denis|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lambert, George|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.||Duffy, William J.||Langley, Barty|
|Ball, Richard||Dunn, Sir William||Law, Hugh, Alex (Donegal, W)|
|Benn, John Williams||Elibank, Master of||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Blake, Edward||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)|
|Boland, John||Farrell, James Patrick||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Fenwick, Charles||Lough, Thomas|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lundon, W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Field, William||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Burns, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Burt, Thomas||Flynn, James Christopher||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Caldwell, James||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Cameron, Robert||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Grant, Corrie||MKean, John|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Laren, Sir Chas. Benjamin|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Mitchell, Ed. (Fermanagh, N.)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hammond, John||Mooney, John J.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvi)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Murphy, John|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Harrington, Timothy||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harwood, George||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.||Hayden, John Patrick||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Crombie, John William||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid.)|
|Crooks, William||Higham, John Sharpe||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cullinan, J.||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Russell, T. W.||Wallace, Robert|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Samuel, Herb. L. (Cleveland)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Sheehy, David||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney|
|O'Dowd, John||Slack, John Bamford||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)||Spear, John Ward||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|O'Malley, William||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR (Northants)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Stevenson, Francis S.||Wood, James|
|Reddy, M.||Sullivan, Donal||Young, Samuel|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Taylor, Theodore, C(Radcliffe)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Tennant, Harold John|
|Roche, John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Tillett, Louis John||Thomas Esmonde and Cap-|
|Rose, Charles Day||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||tain Donelan.|
|Runciman, Walter||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Duke, Henry Edward||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Egerton, Hn. A. de Tatton||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Fisher, William Hayes||Ridley, S. Forde|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fison, Frederick William||Robinson, Brooke|
|Balcarres, Lord||Flower, Sir Ernest||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Garfit, William||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Graham, Henry Robert||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Horner, Frederick William||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H (Renfrew)|
|Bingham, Lord||Howard, J (Midd., Tottenham)||Smith, H. C(North'mb Tynes'd|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hozier, Hn. Jas. Henry Cecil||Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs)|
|Bond, Edward||Hutton, John (Yorks. N.R.)||Stewart, Sir Mark J M Taggart|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G (Oxf'd Univ.)|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col H. F.(Middl'x)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Knowles, Sir Lees||Tuff, Charles|
|Bull, William James||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Vincent, Col Sir C. E. H (Sheffield.|
|Butcher, John George||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks NR||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn J. A (Glasgow)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Welby, Lt-Col A C. E. (Taunton|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Long, Col Chas. H. (Evesham)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire)||Maxwell, Rt. HnSir H E (Wigt'n||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks)|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||John Colomb and Mr.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Purvis, Robert||Herbert Robertson.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill committed to the Standing Committee on Law, etc.