HC Deb 04 July 1906 vol 160 c40

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has noticed that the present increase in the numbers emigrating from Ireland comes mainly from the rural population, and is due to want of land, while large tracts are untenanted; will the Government give favourable consideration to Amendments of the Labourers Bill designed to break in upon those tracts; and will a serious effort be made next session to make those tracts available for popular use.


The Registrar-General informs me that he believes the hon. Member to be correct in assuming that the increase in the number of emigrants from Ireland in April and May came mainly from the rural population. The bulk of emigration ordinarily comes from the rural classes, and fluctuations from varying causes, including no doubt the want of land, are not unusual. There was, for instance, a considerable decrease in the month of March. I have already announced that it is the intention of the Government to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into the problem of congestion in Ireland. That inquiry will not be confined to the western part of the country. The question of untenanted land does not appear to arise directly upon the Labourers Bill, but so far as any Amendments to that Bill are in order they will be fairly considered.