§ (1) In the case of a sale of an estate to the Land Commission advances under the Land Purchase Acts may be made for the purchase of parcels thereof by the following persons:—
- (a) A person being the tenant or proprietor of a holding not exceeding ten pounds in rateable value;
- (b) A person being the son of a tenant or proprietor of a holding on or in the neighbourhood of the estate not exceeding thirty pounds in rateable value;
- (c) A person who has surrendered his holding for the purpose of relieving congestion;
- (d) A person who within twenty-five years before the passing of the Act of 1903 was the tenant of a holding to which the Land Law Acts apply, and who is not at the date of the purchase the tenant or proprietor of
1850 that holding, or in case such person is dead, a person nominated by the Land Commission as his personal representative; and
- (e) Any person to whom in the opinion of the Land Commission, after considering the requirements of persons mentioned in the preceding paragraphs of this Sub-section, an advance ought to be made.
§ (2) Advances under this Section shall not, together with the amount (if any) of any advance under the Land Purchase Acts, which has been made and is then unrepaid by the purchaser, or for which an application by the purchaser is pending, exceed one thousand pounds: Provided that the limitation in this Sub-section may, subject to the other limitations in the Land Purchase Acts, be exceeded, where the Land Commission consider that a larger advance may be sanctioned, to any purchaser without prejudice to the wants and circumstances of other persons residing in the neighbourhood.1851
§ (3) The Land Purchase Acts shall, subject to the provisions of this section, apply to the sale of a parcel of land in pursuance of this section in like manner as if the same was a holding and the purchaser was the tenant thereof at the time of his making the purchase; and the expression "holding" in those Acts shall include a parcel of land in respect of the purchase of which an advance has been made in pursuance of this section.
§ (4) Section two of the Act of 1903 shall cease to have effect save as regards the sale of any parcels of land in respect of which purchase agreements have been entered into before the passing of this Act, and any reference in any enactment to that section shall be construed as a reference to this section.
§ Question proposed, "That this Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. LONSDALE
I think it can be honestly said that this Clause as it stands represents a triumph for the cattle drivers. We were told that the only way to satisfy land hunger was to drive the cattle off the grass lands, and the consequence was the development of the movment which the Chief Secretary characterised himself as a nefarious, reprehensible, and illegal conspiracy. Yet we find the right hon. Gentleman now coming forward and by means of this Clause throwing wide open the doors to these people, and actually promising them the assistance of the State in realising their objects. The Chief Secretary apparently intends to institute a general scramble for grass land—a scramble in which the prizes will be won not by the most deserving, but by the most lawless as well as the landless. I cannot help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman, in putting this Clause into the Bill, has not sufficiently considered the consequences of his action. It is, in my opinion, bound to give rise to a considerable amount of trouble of the most acute kind, and, more than that, it will delay the work of converting the tenants into proprietors, which, after all, is the legitimate purpose of the Land Purchase Acts, and it will also very seriously interfere with the relief of congestion—a subject which the Chief Secretary professes to have so near to his heart. When I look at the Clause it makes me wonder whether the Chief Secretary has given the Report of the Royal Commission on Congestion that close study which we might expect from him under these circumstances. I should like to call atten- 1852 tion to two or three passages from the Report of the Commission which bear directly on the question we are considering on this Clause. The Commission points out that:—In the congested districts nine-tenths of the population live upon agricultural holdings, and over three-fourths of them are living upon holdings which are not in themselves adequate to support them according to a proper standard of living.The Commission states further:—The population in the scheduled districts, depending as it does mainly upon agriculture, is excessive for the land having regard to its value; and no redistribution of the population within the scheduled areas could to any considerable extent remedy the existing congestion.It is estimated that it will be necessary to enlarge 80,000 holdings to an economic size, and as the land capable of acquisition in the congested districts is not sufficient to relieve the congestion in that area the Commissioners go on to say:—Consequently every holding given to the son of a tenant or to any other person not at present a landholder will to that extent perpetuate congestion in the West.I find in this Report an even stronger expression of opinion. The Commission say:—The situation has now grown so serious that we are convinced that if the claims of landless men are persisted in and supported by public opinion, the problem of congestion as a whole cannot be solved, no matter what powers or what funds are given to the Congested Districts Board.It seems to follow from that opinion that if this Clause is persisted in the Government might as well consent to the proposition which I made when we first began to consider this Bill and to move the congested districts provisions into an entirely different and separate Bill. Lord Mac-donnell is equally emphatic on this question. The Minute of dissent which he appended to the Report of the Dudley Commission contains this passage:—The Government must, I submit, decide en limina on the answer to this crucial question, whether, in the general interests of the country, it is better to reserve for migrants from congested districts those portions of the grass lands of Connaught which are not wanted for the enlargement of congested holdings in the immediate neighbourhood of the grasslands, or whether it is better to distribute that surplus among the local landless men.Lord Macdonnell goes on to say:—The Government may, of course, abstain from coming to a definite decision upon this question.The late Under-Secretary seems to have been fully conscious of the infirmities of this Government; and he proceeds to warn them that a policy of wailing upon events will not serve them in this matter; and in language which cannot be misunderstood he places on record his conviction that "no permanent relief of congestion, and no sub- 1853 Stantial temporary relief, in a vast number of cases, is to be found in temporising measures. If, therefore, the problem of congestion is to be dealt with in earnest an immediate decision must be come to on the question above.stated." In the face of the facts laid before them by their own Commission; in spite of the unanimous recommendation of that Commission—knowing that, as the Commission put it, "There is not enough untenanted land to go round"—the Government have adopted the temporising policy. The Chief Secretary says, in effect: "It is true the interests of the congests and the cattle-drivers are in conflict. We are well aware of the fact. They cannot all be satisfied, but they must fight it out among themselves." The effect of this Clause will be to enlarge the area of the land problem, and to import into it problems of bitterness and strife which will make its solution more and more difficult, not to say absolutely impracticable. It brings in a host of new claimants including farmers' sons and ex-tenants— in fact, the Chief Secretary abolishes all restrictions and holds out a general invitation to "any person" to join in this scramble.
I am convinced that this policy is a grave mistake. It will not only make the relief of congestion more difficult, but it will open the door to all sorts of abuses. Even under the Act of 1903 persons have obtained holdings simply for the purpose of selling them and making a cash profit on the transaction. A case came under my notice the other day of a man whose grandfather was evicted 20 years ago who was given a quantity of land by the Estates Commissioners and £48 to stock it. He knew nothing about cattle, and the representative of the Estates Commissioners bought cattle for him and put them on the land. The man sold the beasts at the very next fair, sold also his interest in the farm for £250, put all the money in his pocket, and went off to America. The Land Purchase Acts were certainly not passed to enable persons with more smartness than honesty to make money in that way; but it seems to me that this Clause offers a distinct encouragement to such individuals to indulge in a little land speculation at the expense of the State. I object also to this Clause, because I am afraid the result will be to compel the Estates Commissioners to attempt to satisfy the demands of the landless men at the expense of the farmers who have entered into voluntary agreements 1854 with their landlords. It is obvious that if the Land Commission is to use its staff and the cash at its disposal for the purpose of giving farms to landless men, the work of clearing off the "block" of pending agreements will be still further delayed. I hope, therefore, that if this Bill passes at all this Clause will be either struck out or greatly modified, so that if any addition is made to the class of persons eligible to receive "parcels" of land it shall be confined to the tenants or proprietors of uneconomic holdings and persons who give up their lands for the purpose of relieving congestion.
§ Mr. J. J. O'SHEE
I think it is very desirable that the Government should make the Amendment contained in this Section which proposes a limitation of £10 as regards untenanted land. The proposal that any holder of land of more than £10 in rateable value should not obtain untenanted land is, in my opinion, a very desirable limitation, because hitherto we have had in some parts of the country demands made by larger farmers for portions of the untenanted land, and in many cases farmers who have had considerable holdings have got portions of the untenanted land. It is very difficult for the Estates Commissioners to confine the distribution of this land to the small holders. In some portions of the country, where untenanted land is available, the majority of the farmers have holdings of larger size than would come within this £10 limit, and they have been able to press their claims to some extent on the Commissioners and the inspectors. This limitation would be very useful, because it would restrict the Commissioners from giving the untenanted land to the larger farmers or to the occupiers of moderate-sized holdings, and it would confine them in the distribution of the land to the very small holders. The same observations apply as regards the limitation with regard to the sons of tenants. In a great many cases in the past the sons of farmers who occupied much larger holdings than is indicated by this valuation have in a great many cases obtained holdings. It would be very well that the sons of the farmers should be able to obtain holdings if the untenanted land is sufficient in extent to enable them to get holdings, but this is a case where the land is limited in extent, and it is necessary to select the persons who are most in need, and who are most deserving of obtaining land. There is a provision in the Clause as it stands which, I think, 1855 might be extended in its scope. Sub-section (d) says: "A person who within twenty-five years before the passing of the Act of 1903 was the tenant of a holding to which the Land Law Acts apply, and who is not at the date of purchase the tenant or proprietor of that holding, or in case such person is dead, a person nominated by the Land Commission as his personal representative."
The extension which, I think, would be very desirable is to bring in tenants who have been evicted since the passing of the Act of 1903. You must remember that the power of landlords in Ireland has not been curbed by anything in the Act of 1903. In some directions it has been increased by that Act, and in some cases those landlords who have refused to sell their estates, or who are unreasonable in the price which they demand, have carried out evictions, and very harsh evictions, since the passing of the Act of 1903. It may be said, if you extend this provision to tenants evicted since the passing of the Act of 1903, you keep this thing going on for ever, and set up a new class of evicted tenants, but that is not so, because as land purchase proceeds the residue of estates unsold gradually becomes smaller, and the number of tenants who can be evicted becomes smaller also, and the issue is continually becoming more and more narrow; and as purchase proceeds further the number of tenants who may possibly claim restoration under an extension of this provision will be, of course, much smaller. But the real reason why I think this extension ought to be made is because I think it is absolutely in accordance with the principles of the Act of 1903, and to its fair and just conclusion. It cannot be said it is unfair that any tenant evicted since 1903 should demand to be restored to his own holding in case the estate from which he has been evicted is sold. I may give a case in point to illustrate the hardship of some of the evictions since 1903. Partly in my Constituency and partly in East Waterford there is a large estate from which three tenants have been evicted since 1903. There are over 100 tenants, and not more than three or four have gone into the Land Court. From the time of the great famine a hanging gale of old arrears was carried forward until 1879. Further arrears were carried on from 1879, when the agricultural depression set in severely. In 1885 the landlord, by pressure of these arrears, and by taking pro- 1856 ceedings against the tenants, induced a large number of them to sign judicial agreements fixing their rents at the old figure. Under that pressure they signed these agreements. Immediately after these agreements were signed the landlord still carried on the old arrears, back-dating the rents which these tenants paid. He was forced by the impossibility of collecting these rents, for which they had signed the judicial agreements to give them receipts on account. He did not give them a temporary abatement, but he accepted a rent less than the actual amount fixed by the judicial agreements which they had signed under pressure to the extent of 25 per cent, or 30 per cent. He still carried on every half-year or every year as arrears the difference between the reduced amount paid and the amount fixed by the agreements. It is well understood amongst these tenants that if a tenant dares to go into the Land Court all these arrears will be brought forward against him, and he would be proceeded against and mulcted in all those old arrears.
Three evictions have taken place in that estate. I have seen the rent receipts of these people. They show the cash payments accepted in this way, but they are all back-dated several years, because of the accumulation of the amounts of the difference between what was actually paid and the sums that were fixed in 1885. One or two of them ventured to go into the Land Courts. The result was that they were immediately pounced on and proceeded against for all these arrears, and that they have withdrawn their applications from the Land Courts. The landlord has refused to sell his estate. He has acted, as I think, very injudiciously for his own case, because his tenants are over-rented, and he admits practically by his action in accepting these lesser sums that they are over-rented, and he is not willing that they should go to the Land Court to get fair rents fixed; and they are afraid to go to the court because he would proceed against them for the arrears and evict them. They have no protection under the Land Act of 1881, and they cannot get the benefit of the Land Act of 1903 because the landlord will not sell to them. So they are in the unhappy position that they have to go on making these payments year after year, with no expectation of a change for the better, and unless an extension is made in this provision to include tenants evicted under these circumstances in other parts of the country these men 1857 and men in a similar position can get no relief unless they come in under Sub-clause (e). Even the words of that Sub-clause (e), if strictly interpreted, would not enable the Estates Commissioners to gut these evicted tenants back into their holdings, even if the landlord does sell his estate, because in the county of Waterford, where this estate is, at the present moment there are at least 100 evicted tenants who, I believe, are considered suitable and who are on the list for restoration by the Estates Commissioners; and there is not sufficient untenanted land available in the county of Waterford to provide for these 100 evicted tenants. The evicted farms were taken in many cases by other farmers and the new tenants purchased these evicted farms, many of them under the Ashbourne Act, and they cannot be touched. The Estates Commissioners cannot obtain in the county of Waterford sufficient untenanted land to enable them to provide for this large number of evicted tenants who are on the suitable list. As regards these three tenants on this estate it is under Sub-clause (e) that the Estates Commissioners would have to provide for them, and they cannot do so while they have these 100 persons who are unprovided for, and who cannot be provided for out of the untenanted land available in the county or in the neighbourhood of the county. I say it is entirely unfair and unjust to hinder the restoration on their holdings of men who were evicted under the circumstances I have described. The Amendment, by putting in the words "or since," would meet either the case of a person who was evicted within 25 years before the passing of the Act or since. I do not think on this point that the representatives of the landlord party would object, nor have they reason. If this landlord to whom I have referred were to sell his estate, probably he would prefer that the three evicted tenants—evicted by him in the exercise of his legal right for non-payment of rent since 1903—would prefer that they should be restored to their holdings. It would be better for him, for he would continue to reside in the neighbourhood. These tenants would be his neighbours when he sold the estate, and it is to be presumed that he would prefer to have them restored rather than that evicted tenants should be brought from another part of the country. This is a slight extension, because the margin affected is becoming narrower and narrower every year, and there are not very many cases 1858 of this kind remaining. Of course, there is a large number of cases where the tenants have been converted into caretakers, which is practically the same thing. I am now speaking of tenants absolutely evicted, and who have not been turned into caretakers. The quarterly return under the Land Law Act of 1887 shows that a large number of tenants, every quarter since 1903, have been converted into caretakers, and they are legally in the same position as the three men who were actually evicted. It is clear that in a large number of cases, where the tenants have been converted into caretakers, the landlords would prefer that they should get back to their holdings. They have not put them out at all; they have simply converted them into caretakers, and they would prefer, in these circumstances, that tenants so situated should get these holdings rather than that they should be purchased by strangers from other parts of the country. Unless you make this extension in the Clause which I have suggested it stands to reason, on the strict interpretation of the whole of this Section, including that portion under Sub-section (e), the tenants would not be restored. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College (Mr. Campbell) will indicate on behalf of the landlords whether or not they see any objection to such an extension as I propose in the case of these men who have been evicted. There is no reason why on their part there should be any objection.
If they sold their estates they would, I think, in every individual case, prefer that an evicted tenant who had held the farm should be restored to it. Under the Act of 1903 and the Act of 1907, the Estates Commissioners could acquire these three farms on the estate to which I have referred. They are at present untenanted lands in the hands of the landlord; but the Estates Commissioners have at the present moment compulsory powers to take possession of those untenanted, lands, but when they have acquired them they must put in persons evicted before the passing of the Act of 1903. Therefore, evicted tenants, their friends, and the representatives who speak for them, do not suggest that the Commissioners should proceed under their compulsory powers, because that would mean the exclusion, the absolute exclusion, of former evicted tenants, who are waiting in the hope that they may possibly be restored to their holdings. They would have to put in somebody who had been evicted 1859 some other part of the country. Therefore, these farms remain on the landlord's hands, and he is making very little use of them; they are not of any advantage to him; besides, it would be to the interests of the landlord, as well as of those evicted tenants—and the same thing applies all over the country—that the Estates Commissioner should have the power, where they acquire the land voluntarily (this proposal is for voluntary acquisition; it need not necessarily arise under the compulsory provisions) to put back the evicted tenants. In regard to the distribution of land, I want to call the attention of the Committee to the case of the agricultural labourers. Under the Labourers Act of 1906, Section (19), the agricultural labourers are constituted as one class of persons who may get untenanted land. It is stated under that section that the persons referred to in Section 2 of the Land Act of 1903 shall be deemed to include agricultural labourers. The Government, apparently, have forgotten that under this Clause they repeal Section (2) of the Acts of 1903, and the substitution of Clause 17 of this Bill will practically repeal Section (19) of the Labourers Act of 1906, because the Labourers Act hinges and is dependent upon Section (2) of the Act of 1903, and Section (2) of the Act of 1903, being repealed, it hangs on to nothing. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government to amend this Clause so as to bring in the agricultural labourers, who are provided for, and who are entitled to their share of untenanted land under Section (2) of the Act of 1903. In regard to the general question relating to the agricultural labourers' share in these untenanted lands, I am not satisfied that Section (19) of the Act of 1906 is sufficiently wide in the interests of the labourers. The labourers of Ireland are, in my view, entitled to share in the untenanted land. I am speaking now of the southern part of Ireland; the position in the West of Ireland is rather different. As regards the distribution of untenanted lands, in my view the labourers in the South of Ireland are quite as much entitled to share those lands as any other class. That was recognised by Clause 19 of the Act of 1906, except that the Clause contained this limitation, that if a tenant is to obtain a share in the untenanted land of the district where he lives, he has, before he can get possession, to surrender his cottage. 1860 I object to that limitation, because it imposes unnecessary expenditure. Suppose the Estates Commissioners decide, under Section 19, that a particular labourer is to get five or six or ten acres of an area of untenanted land in his neighbourhood, then he has to surrender his cottage to the district council, and they have to provide him with a house, which, of course, they have to build for him at a large expenditure. It may be that this occurs in some districts where the Labourers Acts have already been in operation, and where the district councils acted generously and recognised the right of every labourer to get a decent cottage and a piece of land attached. Then, if there is untenanted land in the neighbourhood of that kind, and if the labourer is to get it, he is compelled to surrender his cottage, and the Estates Commissioners have to build a house at a cost of £100 or £150 for the labourer, who is leaving a house which has probably cost something over £100. I cannot see the reasonableness of the compelling the labourer to surrender his cottage.
This will not refer to very many cases, because, unfortunately, the area of untenanted land is limited. The point has arisen recently in the county of Limerick, where there are in the neighbourhood of untenanted land 80 labourers living in district council cottages. In consequence of the difficulty in regard to labourers leaving their cottages, the Commissioners proposed—I do not know whether the scheme is yet carried out—to vest the area of a portion of the untenanted land in trustees, under Clause 4 of the Act of 1903, for pasturage for those labourers. That is, I quite agree, a very proper way of dealing with the position of things in that particular case, because where there are 80 labourers living in cottages you could not possibly treat them fairly if you were to select 10 or 11 of the number, while 40 might be deserving. By the plan adopted these labourers will get pasturage for a cow, which will be, of course, great assistance. In other parts of the country, where there would not be so many labourers, perhaps only three or four in the neighbourhood of untenanted land, I do not think there should be the right of insisting on the surrender of those cottages while land is available in their neighbourhood to give them two or three or four acres each so as to enable them to live perhaps in more comfort than they have been able to in the past. I think the Government must recognise it is necessary for them, 1861 if they are not to ignore and consequentially repeal Clause 19 of the Act of 1906, that an Amendment should be put down to this Clause in order that they should not repeal Section 19 of the Act of 1906.
§ Mr. CHERRY
In Section (4), Clause 17, of this Bill, you find the words, "Section 2 of the Act of 1903 shall cease to have effect save as regards the sale of parcels of land in respect of which purchase agreements have been entered into before the passing of this Act, and any reference in Any enactment to that section shall be construed as a reference to this section." That is a reference to the labourers who were prevented by the Act of 1906, and will come in under this Clause.
§ Mr. O'SHEE
As I interpret that it only covers the cases of agreement which have been already entered into under Clause 2.
§ Mr. O'SHEE
The labourers have suffered in the past from want of clearness in the definition of agricultural labourer in the Act of 1903. I proposed an Amendment when the Act of 1903 was going through the House to make the definition clear. One or two Members and the Attorney-General of the day told me it was absolutely unnecessary that anyone except a lunatic—they suggested that I was— would know that the definition was perfectly clear. What was the result? When cases came before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as to the interpretation of agricultural labourer the fear that I wanted to guard against was shown to be well grounded. The Judicial Committee held that the Definition Clause of the Act of 1903 was not an inclusive clause, as I was told it was, and they rejected an application of a bond fide agricultural labourer, who would have come in under previous Labourers Acts, who had more than a quarter of an acre of land. Therefore I want to be on my guard when we are dealing with anything which concerns 1862 the labourers, because I am afraid they are more or less forgotten by Ministers when dealing with Land Acts. I think the words at the end of Sub-section (4) must be read with the preceding words, which refer only to agreements entered into previous to the passing of this Act. I would therefore ask the right hon. Gentleman to make the provision perfectly clear, and also to cut out the limitation in the Act of 1906, to which I have referred.
As regards evicted tenants in the county of Waterford, unfortunately, there is not sufficient untenanted land; but there is sufficient land if the Estates Commissioners would buy it to enable them to provide for the evicted tenants. They have been offered lands for voluntary sales, and I suggest that where lands, even lands which have been purchased under previous Acts, are offered for sale in the open market the Estates Commissioners should have power to purchase them in order to provide for evicted tenants who are on their list, but who cannot otherwise be provided for. They could do that under the present law, if they would redeem previous loans; but they allege that they are technically prevented from doing so by a section of the Land Purchase Act of 1888. You can never provide for the evicted tenants in county Waterford, and many other places, unless you give the Estates Commissioners this power. I do not suggest that it should be a compulsory power. Sufficient lands come into the market from day to day for this purpose, and why should not the Commissioners have the power to buy them? I do not know why it is proposed that this subsection should be omitted. The policy embodied in it was recognised by the Act of 1903, and so far as this Clause makes any change, it ought to be, in the view of hon. Members above the Ganyway, for the better.
The Commissioners had the right under the Act of 1903, or, at any rate, they have exercised it, and all this Sub-section does is to legalise its operation. If those who are opposed to the right cannot criticise its operation by pointing to any cases in which it has been unwisely exercised, why should its operation not be legalised, assuming that the Commissioners had not such power under the Act of 1903? There is not much sense or substance in the opposition to the Sub-section, as, even in the view of the opponents of this power, the Clause ought to be regarded as an im- 1863 provement on Section 2 of the Act of 1903, because it limits the number of people who can apply for these untenanted lands. It carries out the policy of the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) more perfectly than his own section, because it excludes the applications of large farmers and sons of large farmers for these untenanted lands, and gives the smaller people, who have less influence in their own neighbourhood, and who are the most deserving because the most needy, a fairer chance of getting a portion of the land.
§ Mr. S. H. BUTCHER
We have so far been engaged in killing voluntary sale, and in marching through the Lobbies we have assisted at its obsequies. We now go on to substitute in its place compulsory sale. There is a much larger question opened up by this Clause than one would have imagined from listening to the speech just delivered. This Clause must be read in connection with Clauses 39 and 58. It is only the last stage in a series of transactions. These other clauses lay down the conditions under which existing owners are to be dispossessed of their land by very summary processes. I need not go into that matter now, as we shall come to it afterwards; but the Committee will remember the abortive negotiations, the final offer, the price to be fixed, and so forth. Then, finally, the Estates Commissioners get possession of the land they desire. Having got possession of it, this Clause provides that at the redistribution of that land comes further powers, some of them entirely new powers for the distribution of what for the first time are known as "parcels of land." The hon. Member who has just spoken said that this Clause limits rather than extends the class of persons to whom land might be sold under the Act of 1903. Let me point out that this is a matter of immense importance. What are the differences between this and the provisions of the Act of 1903? By the Act of 1903 the land might be resold to tenants or sons of tenants on the estates, and to proprietors or tenants of small holdings in the neighbourhood. I own that I think the Act of 1903 went dangerously far in promoting the sale of land to the sons of tenants on the estates who were not themselves farmers. That opened up what has turned out to be a very dangerous agitation. I do not know how it slipped into the Act of 1903.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
No, I was not here, but I do not care how it slipped in. I do know that it has been certainly most fertile in mischief since. Now what is proposed? Clause 17 includes "tenants or sons of tenants not on the estate." Before it was limited to those on the estate. Further, "landless men anywhere." That is a new and quite novel thing which we have for the first time. "Landless men anywhere"; to them land can be sold which has been compulsorily acquired. This seemingly harmless Clause contains here a principle of enormous importance, I believe of most far-reaching significance, and one which whether we look at it from the point of view of the administration of law and order—of which I am going to say nothing at present—or from the point of view of Irish agriculture is one of the most mischievous in the whole of this mischievous Bill. Let me note in passing that a little later there is a parallel clause to this concerning the congested districts— Clause 51, which has to be read in connection with Clause 57, where similar powers of compulsion are given. Clause 51 gives not precisely identical powers, but similar powers to those which the Congested District Boards have, are given outside the congested districts to the Estates Commissioners. What is common to both is this: that landless men are to be given land, or may be given land, both by the Estates Commissioners and by the Congested Districts Board, and it is part of the policy, which is not in the Bill itself, but which has been sufficiently explained in official speeches made in this House and out of it, for breaking up the larger farms and grass lands in Ireland. Not only this, but also breaking up of the grass lands in the central parts of Ireland—the fattening land of Ireland on which a cattle trade flourishes—and distributing that among the landless men. I am not going to discuss the larger question of the effect of that redistribution on the cattle trade of Ireland. It is a very large question. It is a very anxious question. But this I will say about it, that whatever may be the arguments used in favour of the redistribution of land and the breaking up of the large grazing farms, whatever may be the scientific arguments used in favour of it, they all depend upon the assumption that in the place of these large grazing lands you can establish mixed farming in Ireland. Without that, everybody admits that the breaking up of the grass lands will be economically ruinous, as well as 1865 socially most dangerous. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Not at all."] Everybody does except those—
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I have never heard of any agricultural arguments apart from the political arguments—which I understand— which proceed except on the assumption that in lieu of the grazing you can establish a system of mixed farming, which is a highly developed method of scientific agriculture involving, in particular, winter feeding. I quite understand that politically the breaking up of the grass lands has been urged on wholly different grounds from those of agriculture. I am quite aware, of course, that in the early stages of the cattle-driving agitation that the hon. Member for Westmeath promised to those whom he was urging to take part in that sport to engage that Parliament would confirm their blessed work by legislation. I am also aware that throughout Ireland there are many who only look upon the Bill now before us as a promised confirmation of that blessed work. That is one side to this compulsory redistribution of grass land, and it is a side which I do not care to insist upon. All I would say is this: that once you acknowledge the principle that the landless men of Ireland in and out of the congested districts are to have their share of land, that you are whetting an appetite which must grow with whetting; that the land of Ireland is limited; that appetite for land is unlimited; and that once having introduced this principle to satisfy the claims of landless men you can in no way restrict it; there are no limits you can put to it. This scramble for land also has a more costly side to it. Remember that when you break up lands and plant on them landless men, the State will have to provide for the cost of houses, fencing, and farm equipment. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh, no."] Yes, they will have to advance money for the purchase of stock.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
No, not only the evicted tenants. I would ask hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway what do they intend to do? What do they suppose would be done? Are the Government going to plant these wretched, landless men, who do not possess a house or a cow, or any capital, on a piece of bare land, and say to them: "You make what you can of that"? It is impossible that such men could be put 1866 down upon a farm without assistance, and I do not, for one moment, doubt that those who drew up this Clause do mean to follow it up in a rational way. They will not leave these men to starve; they will not put them in upon the land without cattle, or without having anything to live upon; and that will be the opportunity which the taxpayer will have of contributing towards the blessing of the conspiracy. All through the Bill I observe that every difficulty is thrown in the way of the large, strong farmers in Ireland, who, I believe, in the future, more than ever before, will be an important element in that country, because, remember, the landlords will have been bought out. There will be very little farming on the larger scale, and little employment for the labourers. The labourers depend very much upon the big farmers. [An Hon. MEMBER: "No, no."] Oh, yes, surely it is not upon the little men that the labourers will have to depend. They can only get a pitiful existence by work on the small farms. In addition, Ireland will, moreover, need some standard of farming, up to which the small men must work. The landlords' farming will have ceased, and the strong farmers of Ireland will be an element of very great importance in the community. Everything in this Bill tends to discourage the large farmer, to prevent him adding to his land; the moment there is a sign of his becoming larger the land will be broken up and given to smaller men. How will the smaller men work this land? I do not know whether they are to be holdings of 20 or 30 acres. These men had no previous training; they are unskilled men; I know what is going on in many places where these small men are put upon these parcels of land. They have not become mixed farmers. I have seen them myself, and I know what they are doing. They do either one of two things; they either graze the land, as it was grazed before, or else they sublet it at a profit rent, and the danger is that all that may be done by substituting smaller farmers for large graziers is that you will have small graziers instead of large graziers. That is the result, and from the economic point of view it is a ruinous one. As everybody knows, who knows anything about cattle fattening and grazing and the whole industry of the cattle trade, you cannot fatten cattle on small runs; you want large runs, wide range, more scope, and you get an inferior class of cattle by confining them to these small lands. I, like many others, look at this matter from 1867 an entirely non-political point of view, and from the economic and agricultural point of view. I studied the matter as much as any Gentleman below the Gangway, and I have studied it all my life, and I have little doubt it is most advisable over a considerable portion of Ireland, to increase the amount of mixed farming, but that cannot be done in a moment. You cannot suddenly sweep away the grazing and get mixed farming in its place. It is a slow process, and will need careful development, carefully picking trained men to put upon the land, with the best agricultural education you can give them. If, prematurely and of a sudden, over great districts, you sweep away grazing and sub stitute small holdings, you do not arrive at an economic farmer, but at a lower kind of grazier, and at more unintellectual and more ineffective farming than ever before. I do not believe that the mere substitution of 20 acres for 10 acres necessarily ensures a better condition of holder of that land. He may let that land and sub-let it, and instead of being a hardworking man he may become an idle one, who is just able to live upon the proceeds of the sub-letting. The Clause under discussion is one which opens up the widest question concerning the whole future of rural economy of Ireland from the cattle trade downwards to the general question o[the improvement of scientific agriculture in the country, and I do not believe that there is any greater fallacy than this, which is apparently in the mind of those who framed this Bill and who have sketched the policy upon which the Bill rests—I mean the fallacy that you can make uneconomic holdings into economic holdings by placing untrained uneconomic men upon them. It is useless to say that one trusts the Government may reconsider anything from the point of view of agriculture in a Clause like this, because I know quite well it is not with them agriculture but politics that dominates the Bill. I make my protest in the name, not of politics, but of agricultural economics, and I hope there may be someone outside who, if not inside, will respond to my appeal.
Mr. P. J. POWER
One of the effects, we hope, from the ending of the dual system of ownership in Ireland will be a decrease in absenteeism in Ireland, from which the country has suffered so much. In the past the ownership of land con- 1868 ferred a considerable amount of prestige influence, and so forth. That is not so now, and I think the ownership of land for the last 25 years or so has conferred upon the owner very little but trouble and anxiety. I firmly believe myself that, as the ownership of land falls into the hands of the people, Ireland will become a very much pleasanter country for the people to live in, and I believe that the creation of a peasant proprietary will offer inducements to those who do not at present live in the country to do so. If that is to be accomplished, it is absolutely necessary that peace should prevail between the evicted tenants and the landlords. I cannot understand the attitude of some landlords in my own country and elsewhere towards the evicted tenants, because they can get their money through the evicted tenants as well as through any other class of tenants, and it is merely prejudice on the part of those landlords which prevents them from selling to these tenants and taking their cash through them. Some of the landlords in my district have actually planted the farms of the evicted tenants with trees in order to prevent the old tenants coming in. Lord Ashtown set them an example, and this has been followed by others in my Constituency. If there is to be peace something like the suggestion thrown out by the hon. Member for West Waterford is absolutely necessary. My hon. Friend alluded to an estate upon which there has been several evictions since the Act of 1903 passed, which took place under a system of having a large number of years of arrears hanging over the people, and in consequence of which they have been evicted. On the estate to which he alluded certainly three most respect' able men have been evicted since 1903, and I ask the Government whether, by the insertion of the word "since," they could not do something to meet this case. If it is not done, it will be disagreeable to the neighbourhood and the landlords, and it will also be very hard for the evicted tenants.
My hon. Friend has alluded to the claims of labourers where evicted tenants are still in the immediate neighbourhood. I agree with the views which have been expressed on this point, and I am sorry to hear the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Butcher) defending the system of ranches in Ireland as against the system of small economic holdings, which the tenants would be able to work 1869 for their own advantage, as well as for the advantage of the community at large. If you can consult men largely connected with grazing you will find that the ranching system is.not the paying game some hon. Members wish to make out, and that an ordinary farmer with a family to assist him can do better on a small farm than those who use the land for grazing purposes, and who provide little employment. So far from land being improved by grazing, its value is steadily decreasing. My hon. Friend the Member for West Water-ford said that at present there was a list of some hundred suitable evicted tenants who are claiming parcels of land, and, unfortunately, it is impossible to get land for them. He also pointed out that sometimes there are voluntary offers of land for purchase, and although the Estates Commissioners may think the value offered is excellent and good security for the money which would be advanced, they are precluded by the present Treasury arrangement from buying such farms. If the inspector considers the farm offered for sale is value for a second advance, certainly something should be introduced into this measure to meet that case. The point I wish to emphasise is that of the tenants evicted since 1903, and I cannot understand why by the insertion of the word "since" power should not be given to the Estates Commissioners to deal with such cases. This would be to the advantage of the tenants and in the interest of the country at large.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
One reason why this Debate, so far as I have heard it, makes mf a firmer Home Ruler is that somehow or another both parties in Ireland always seem to combine to seek to terrorise me by telling me of the enormities which will happen from legislation recommended by the Government. I am not frightened out of my wits because of Sub-section (e) in Section (1) of this particular Clause. It is said that Sub-section (e) provides that these landless men will be placed, notwithstanding the language of the Clause, over the heads of everybody else, over the heads of the tenants and small proprietors who have uneconomic holdings, to whom it is intended to give the untenanted land. Sons of tenants, sons of proprietors and other persons are to be disregarded simply in order that this Sub-section (e) should have a priority over everything else in the Clause, in order that landless men coming from heaven knows where, should be given small plots of this untenanted land in this particular district. I am told that 1870 this is opening the flood-gates and exposing the whole system of land purchase and land holding in Ireland to new and untold dangers. I can assure hon. Gentlemen opposite that we have no such intention whatsoever. You may be right in saying that these terrible consequences will follow, but what we want to do is, after providing by this Clause, which to some extent extends, and to some extent limits, the existing law—is to give holdings to "a person being the tenant or proprietor of a holding not exceeding ten pounds in rateable value." We place some restriction upon that. Still, so far as the Clause goes in the first instance, we give I the priority in regard to these untenanted I lands to persons being tenants or proprietors of these very small holdings. We I desire that these persons—whether they I are tenants or whether they have already purchased miserable small holdings which they ought not to have been allowed to purchase under the Act of 1903—should have their uneconomic holdings increased, that is to be the first charge upon the untenanted land.
Then we go on to provide that "a person being the son of a tenant or proprietor of a holding on or in the neighbourhood of the estate not exceeding £30 in rateable value." We also propose "a person who has surrendered his holding for the purpose of relieving congestion," and then comes this terrible Sub-section. Our main object in that provision was to provide for the case of mansion houses, buildings, and other works of that kind which are not properly divisible. It sometimes happens that the landlord purchases his demesne and mansion, and I think that is a most beneficent provision in the Act of 1903, which enables him to do so on certainly the most favourable terms that anybody ever secured property before. We rejoice it was so, and in many cases that has been acted upon, but it has not been acted upon in all cases, and the Estates Commissioners find themselves the owners of houses which they have to dispose of, sometimes to public institutions, the character of which I need not indicate, for people acquainted with Ireland know very well what they are. They have to divide these holdings. Sometimes it is a mill, and sometimes it is land not suitable for or desired by the tenants, or the sons of tenants, or any of the persons in the foregoing sub-divisions of the Clause, and it is absolutely essential that the Estates Commissioners should have power, after considering the requirements 1871 of the first chargees of this untenanted land, and supposing they will not take it, and there is no desire for it, to sell it to any persons who are willing to take it, and whom they think qualified. There is nothing new about this. It was in the Act of 1885, which was repealed by the Act of 1903. Section 7 of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1885, provided:—
"Where the Land Commission have purchased an estate, they may sell any parcels which they cannot sell to the tenants thereof, in such manner as they think fit."
Nobody saw in those days this terrible power of flooding Ireland with perfectly incompetent, landless men—tenants, or sons of tenants, who did not know one end of the plough from the other, and who, according to the hon. Member (Mr. Butcher) would have to be provided, first of all, with half a dozen lectures at least to teach them how to hold the plough and what to do with it, and who would then have to be provided with ploughs and money to stock their farms at enormous and incredible expense.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he contemplates providing them with money or stocking their farms, or doing anything for them?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not contemplate people going in under this Clause in any way to the extent the hon. Member proposes. I will answer the hon. Member quite frankly. This Clause is not primarily intended for such persons, but is provided to enable the Estates Commissioners to dispose of property they cannot dispose of amongst the persons who are the first chargees under this Bill. Therefore to imagine that the object of this Clause is to flood the country with landless men making applications to be taken, I suppose over the heads of all the other persons, in order that they may have these grants given to them, is absurd and extravagant; but, supposing cases arise when, after having given full consideration to the requirements of the persons mentioned, the Commissioners do think it desirable to give agricultural land, not the land or the buildings I have contemplated, but purely agricultural land, to landless men, then I quite agree they would require to see to it that they were qualified to exercise their novel craft, and were properly instructed and equipped with the.means of carrying on their industry. 1872 These things, however, rather point to how unlikely it is any such proceedings are going to be taken under a Clause the primary object of which is quite different. There is another consideration which may enter into the case. The hon. Member is interested in the problem of migration. He desires that untenanted land in Ireland should, as far as possible, be used, when it can consistently and safely be so used, for the purpose of securing economic holdings to persons who at present have not got them. He also recognises that is one of the most astoundingly difficult tasks that can be imposed upon any Administration or upon any persons responsible for the peace and well-being of Ireland. He must know, as well as I do, that it is impossible to carry out any such scheme at the point of the bayonet. You cannot move your migrant from one part of the country to another where they are not welcome and where you cannot contend for a single moment you are going to support them by the full force of the police and soldiery of the country. That can only be done—and I recognise it is difficult—by a fair consideration of the claims of people on the spot, mingled with the desire to secure economic holdings to persons who have not got them.
I am therefore persuaded it is most important to enable both sets of people to be considered in any particular district, and, if it was beyond the power of the Estates Commissioners to give a single rood of land to landless people in the neighbourhood, then your chances of making a comfortable home for those whom you wish to introduce from a distance would be dissipated and destroyed. I want in this particular matter, and on the rare occasions on which it is exercised, the Estates Commissioners to have power to negotiate. It is only by negotiating, by friendly feeling, and by appealing to the better feelings of all persons concerned in the community, that you have any chance of success. I am not going to say how far it is a good or a bad chance, but that is the only chance you have of carrying out any policy of migration, and, if you tie the hands of the Estates Commissioners so that they cannot deal in any way whatsoever with those who want the land in the neighbourhood, you deal a blow at the policy which I assure hon. Members I have as much at heart as they have. I deny altogether that this Sub-section (e) has the subtle and terrible quality ascribed to it. That is not its object. Its primary object is to enable the Land Commissioners to do what they 1873 were authorised to do by the Act of 1885, namely, to sell any parcel of land they cannot get rid of amongst the persons who are first entitled to it in such manner as they may think fit. It is also important in dealing with the question of migration to keep in the hands of the Commissioners the power to give something to the people on the spot if only by way of an arrangement. Some such policy, in my judgment, is absolutely necessary unless you wish to sit down and tell the whole world that your policy of migration is an utter impossibility and a failure. The Clause is a modified Clause. It adopts and re-enacts considerable portions of the Section of the Act of 1903, with certain additions.
The hon. Member who has just sat down (Mr. Power) appealed to me about the Evicted Tenants Act. I think I have done enough for the evicted tenant. I feel I have done all I am able to do. I think the question has been fairly dealt with under the powers of the existing Act so far as the difficulties we have with the lawyers enable us to get along. We may have to reconsider that question; but, so far as the principle of the Act is concerned, I really do not think we ought now to be asked to extend those provisions. The evicted tenants are not quite so popular in Ireland as you might imagine from the speeches made on their behalf. We have considerable difficulty even now in making them welcome additions to the community from which they have been some time exiled, and, although I adhere to everything I have said as to the way in which Parliament was bound by Parliamentary pledges of a solemn and sacred character to do its very best for them, and to fulfil every promise made to them, I think that promise has been fulfilled, and I do not think I can honestly hold out any chance that we shall or can extend the provisions of the Evicted Tenants Act as they now appear upon the Statute Book. With regard to the labourers, there is a case which certainly deserves very grave consideration, but the labourers have under the Labourers Act come in for the benefit of land purchase, and that Act, courageously carried out, is, I think, working one of the most remarkable revolutions in the face of Ireland anyone has ever witnessed, and those who have supported the Act and its principle may think, after all, we have done a very substantial measure of justice to the labourers. The whole thing is so complicated and the demands on the limited quantity of land in Ireland are so great that I do not think it wise or 1874 patriotic to hold out fresh hopes to people who are not at present entitled.
§ Mr. W. MOORE
The labourers are entitled to come in under the Section by virtue of the Act. Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that this Act will take away from them that privilege?
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I would very much like to know whether hon. Members below the Gangway agree with the policy which the Chief Secretary has just explained. According to the Chief Secretary, this Clause, and notably the Subsection which permits the Estates Commissioners to sell land to any person, according to the Chief Secretary, is but a slight extension of the enactment of 1903. Its main purpose, according to the right hon. Gentleman, is to enable the Estates Commissioners to sell mansions and mills, although, he added, it might probably occur that they would sell also land not suitable for or desired by the tenants. I do not quite know what kind of land he has in his mind. There is great eagerness on the part of tenants in Ireland to acquire land capable of cultivation. But is the policy which the right hon. Gentleman has just indicated that policy of which we have heard so much during the last year in Ireland? Is it the policy of hon. Members below the Gangway? Is it the policy advocated before the Dudley Commission? It is playing with words for the Chief Secretary to tell us that this Clause is only going to enable the Estates Commissioners to get rid of spare parcels of land not needed under the Land Bill. If that is his object, I venture to assert that it is already fulfilled. The Chief Secretary glanced at a somewhat wider problem, and indicated that when they migrated a man, they had some difficulty in placing him in a new neighbourhood unless he could confer some benefit on the people of that immediate locality. Is that covered, or not, by the Section of the Act of 1903, which provides that where land is bought for the benefit of the Congested Districts counties, if any land so bought is not required for the tenants for whose benefit it is purchased, then it may be used for the proprietor, or tenant, or their sons, in the immediate neighbourhood, so as to get rid of the ring of very small bad holdings surrounding the bigger farm to which the people are migrated. The Chief Secretary says that his Bill is only an extension of that principle embodied in Section (75) of the Act of 1903. This extension may have 1875 been dangerous. I believe it was necessary. It was guarded closely and carefully in the Act of 1903, in order to give no colour to the view now being put forward in Ireland, namely, that it is proposed to divide the whole of the land in Ireland in order to establish a new race of landed men. The Chief Secretary has told us he is in favour of that policy. In the Act of 1903 there were two narrowly defined exceptions, and the Chief Secretary, in introducing this Bill, felt justified in saying that hopes had been excited, and land-hungry eyes have been greedily cast upon untenanted lands by persons living in the district. If that were the case under that Act, what hopes does the right hon. Gentleman think he is going to excite by this widely drawn Section that land may be sold to any person? I do not think the people in Ireland have read this Bill, but has the right hon. Gentleman thought what will be the effect of the agitation which for a whole year has been going on in favour of a policy which he now repudiates—the policy of selling untenanted lands to any person?
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
That was so in the Act of 1903, only it was much more strictly laid down. This is regarded as a concession by the Government to those who advocate economic views which most people believe to be thoroughly unsound. When we were discussing the allocation of time on this Bill, I ventured to say that this was a Clause of such importance that it ought to be brought at the beginning of the day; but, as a matter of fact, it has come on only at half-past seven, and I do not think there is an adequate opportunity of discussing it. It raises great political, economic, and financial questions. It is a political question, because hitherto all Land Purchase Acts for Ireland have been framed in order to get rid of what we consider to be the evil consequences of dual ownership at its worst. They were framed to terminate dual ownership and to assist the congested tenants. I look upon that as a political question of the first magnitude. The Land Purchase Acts have been defended on the ground that legislation in previous years has created and imposed a condition of affairs in Ireland as a result of which the landowner did not put in any capital and the tenant did not put in any toil. If you now say the public credit shall be used in order to set up a man who has never suf- 1876 fered from that system of tenure, why, I ask, should such a policy be confined to Ireland? Why should it not be equally defensible if applied to England, Scotland, and Wales?
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
So long as we are dealing with the evil of dual ownership in Ireland it was possible to say that the Government of Great Britain and Ireland, having allowed an evil system to grow up, was entitled to use public credit to abate that evil and to remedy it. An hon Member says, "What about the county council allotments," but this goes a great deal further than any county council legislation, and county council legislation does exist, not only for allowing a new man to get a small holding, but to have it stocked, but that is under very different financial proposals to those which underlay the Land Purchase Act. The question is, are these financial proposals to be given for a perfectly new political object? But I will not labour that. I say that this Clause embraces a political question of great magnitude; it also embraces an economic question, as an hon. Member made clear to the Committee before, which must damage the best interests of Ireland. I say that it is a new economic question which is approached at half-past seven to eight o'clock in the fourth week of August, upon which we are entitled to have the views not only of all those interested in agriculture in Ireland, but of all those who have, studied economic questions. It is a new economic question which really does not affect the landlord or the tenant. I wish for a moment we could get rid of this bogey and this bugbear of the landlord. His property has been bought, as hon. Members think, for more than it is worth. He is out of the hunt, and what are you going to do with his property now that you have it? Is it to be used in order to make the tenants happier, and to put them in a better position, or is it to be used for forwarding a policy repudiated by the Government, but which is in this Clause, of bringing in fresh competitors to compete with the tenants in Ireland, whose lot is particularly hard?
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
That interruption again shows what a large number of im- 1877 portant questions we are trying to hurry over. The hon. Member seems to think that Section (e) is another way of bringing in the labourers, although we have had several Labourers Acts, but the Chief Secretary has repudiated that assertion, because he said, "We have done a great deal for the labourers, and we are not going to do any more for them." But this does not mean the labourers, it means new competitors, and what is intended in Ireland is the establishment of men who have been fortunate in other affairs, and would like to try their hands at a little bit of land. We are told that it would be for the interests of Ireland that the cultivation of the country should be placed under mixed cultivation. [An Hon. Member: "Hear, hear."] An hon. Member admits that, but that is not what is going to be done. It is that the shopkeeper, or the moneylender, or the man who returns from America, should get the credit of the State for nothing and should be set up in business. What will that class of man do? Why, he will leave the land in grass and let it to the small occupiers around him and get a rack rent out of them by that and other means. That is what is happening now.
You cannot gel mixed farming to take the place of grass farming by merely opening the door to a number of other competitors, with the result that those who have a sufficiently hard problem to solve now will find it more difficult in the future. It is not likely that this system of mixed farming in Ireland is going to be a success, and this is an experiment which if it is tried at all in Ireland could be tried as well in England, Wales and Scotland. Therefore, this question embraces a large economic problem, as well as a large political problem, and, of course, and this is the last word I have to say, it embraces a very large financial problem. We have been told that the amount of money needed under this Bill will be far greater than has ever been estimated before, and under the interpretation which hon. Members place upon this Section, it will need unlimited sums of money. Before the Closure came on at 7.30, we passed Clause 15, under which the sum of money which is going to be advanced to the tenants in Ireland was made less than it was under the Act of 1902. That means that there is a greater amount of land for sale to those who are not tenants, an immense amount of land for sale under this Sub-section (e) of Clause 17, in consequence of your 1878 having restricted the amount of the advances which could be made to our tenants That is not wanted in order to get rid of the mansions and the mills and to obtain the amount of land now required by the poor tenants. That is wanted, if it is wanted at all, in order to embark upon a large scale upon this new economic plan and political departure. I believe it is an unsound economic plan and an unsound political experiment. I am sure it will add enormously to the size of the problem, and I regret that a question which affects the future of Ireland and the credit of the national Exchequer should be discussed in an empty House in the fourth week in August.
§ Mr. P. WHITE
The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has painted a picture, which no one expects will be realised, of the shop-keepers and the moneylenders from every town in Ireland farming land and letting farms to the small occupiers under the 11 months' system. It is not for any such purpose that the land is required. It is for the sons of farmers, who are accustomed to the management and farming of land, and when the right hon. Gentleman speaks of an economic problem I would like to put him one question in connection with the county which I represent. Forty years ago in that county there was a population of 170,000; to-day there is only 61,000. From the economic point of view, would it be better to have 170,000 in that county who are industrious and thriving, working upon the land and making a living out of it, or to only have 60,000 people in that position? When you attempt to deal with the land question of Ireland you must have regard" to the history of its past; and in this particular county in the space of 50 years the homesteads have been reduced from 30,000 to 14,000, or by more than half. The people have been swept off the land to make room for the grazing system, which has been the curse of the country. If any man acquainted with the practical cultivation of land goes over the county of Meath to-day he will find that the land is not rich and of good quality, but that it is deteriorating, and that it is devoted to raising store cattle for the English market. Is will be an economic necessity after some time to bring back the grazing land to cultivation, and put the peasantry on the land of Meath. If you take into consideration the wealth which can be extracted from that country if it was dotted with medium-sized farms, under a mixed system of agriculture, with an industrious 1879 people on the soil, it would yield four times as much as it yields to-day, and from the economic aspect would not that be better for the country as a whole? The towns of Meath to-day are desolate, and were it not for the small holdings some of them would be almost derelict of every symptom of prosperity. The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Butcher) apparently regards himself as an authority upon this question, but he has shown no sympathy with the subject. He referred, to the people who want land as those wretched, landless people. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Wyndham) said the Land Act was enacted to heal old sores, and that people who want land now suffered nothing in the past; but is there not a man in Ireland who has suffered something from the landlords in the past by unjust evictions? If the present men have not suffered, at all events their fathers have suffered, and the recollection is still fresh in their minds. There are in Meath vast ranches of 5,000 acres, once dotted over with happy homesteads, but the land now going out of cultivation and deteriorating in quality, with only a few men and a few dogs to mind it. Is there any reason why the descendants of these men, who are anxious to cultivate it, should be denied that land to live on?
The right hon. Gentleman referred to the County Councils Bill, and said it was the same in principle, but the financial operations were different. Give us the principle. The Small Allotments Act in England gives the people the right to go back to the land. That is all we ask for in Ireland. Apply the same principle, and enable the people to go back to the land, and we will be quite satisfied. There is no use in painting impossible pictures of men getting land and reletting it. That kind of thing cannot and will not exist. The men who want the land to-day are prepared to earn a living on it by the sweat of their brow, and to be industrious and prosperous, and to benefit the community in which they live. Wherever the small farmers in Ireland have had a chance they have acted honestly, honourably fulfilling their engagements, and no power in this House has a right to stand between them and their living on the land.
§ Mr. GORDON
I think this is a very extraordinary Clause, and its extraordinary character is only equalled by the extraordinary line which the Chief Secretary has taken in defending it. The first thing he says to the objections which are 1880 taken to it is that they are not the object of the Clause, but he does not for a moment point out that these may not be taken to be the object of the Clause by those who have to administer it, and that the people who are interested in having effect given to what we on this side of the House, at all events, believe to be the capabilities of the Clause, will see that those who are administering it are put into great difficulty if they do not give effect to those views. That is his first line of defence. His next is, that we want to get rid of useless land that no one would take. He says the Land Commission, or whoever has to deal with the land, must get rid of it in some way, and he quotes the provisions in the Act of 1885, that when the land could not be disposed of to the tenants on the estate they should then be sold. Is there a single word in this Clause from beginning to end to protect the interests of the tenants upon the estate? Not one. Every single acre of untenanted land which might be acquired by sale to the Land Commission could be given to persons who had nothing to do with the estate at all.
§ Mr. GORDON
No. Let us see what they are: "(a) A person being a tenant or proprietor of a holding not exceeding £10 in rateable value." That does not necessarily mean the tenant of a holding upon the estate. He may come from any other county in Ireland. What is the next class of person? "A person being the son of a tenant or proprietor of a holding on or in the neighbourhood of the estate." He may be on the estate, but not necessarily. The next is: "A person who has surrendered the holding for the purpose of relieving congestion." He need not be on the estate at all, or have anything to do with it. Next, "A person who within 25 years before the passing of the Act of 1903 was the tenant of a holding to which the Land Law Acts applied, and who is not at the date of purchase a tenant or proprietor of that holding, or in case such a person is dead, a person to be nominated by the Estates Commissioners." A man under that Clause may have sold his farm 30 years ago in another part of the country altogether, and he may come forward and ask to get a portion of these untenanted lands, or, if he is dead and has no representative, the Estates Commissioners may appoint a representative for him to come in and take it.
§ Mr. GORDON
Yes, but it does not apply to outsiders. If you have provided for all these people in (a), (b), (c), and (d), not one of whom need have had anything to do with the estate, then you may sell it to any person. What class of person does the right hon. Gentleman think is included there? That Clause, as it stands at present, does not make a direct provision for any son of a tenant upon an estate which has been acquired. What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by it? We are not living in the moon. We know what has been going on in Ireland. We know perfectly well that the people who have been making this outcry for the land, cattle-drivers and their friends, want to get the right to have the lands divided up amongst them. They would not be content with this Bill, and those who take their part here would not be content with it if it did not give to the Commissioners power to divide it up amongst them and to these agitators and law breakers, for they are that, to bring the same class of pressure to bear upon any of these people included in the previous Sub-sections to prevent them from coming in and asking for any of this land at all, and, secondly, to make it an impossibility for the Estates Commissioners to do anything else but divide it up amongst this class of outsiders. The right hon. Gentleman knows that even at the present moment, without a Clause like this, where the Estates Commissioners have divided up lands and given farms to persons whom the people in the neighbourhood did not think ought to get them, they came in their crowds and prevented the officer who represented the Estates Commissioners from putting the tenants in possession. What do you think you are doing here by this Clause? You are giving to these people an object to continue their agitation, to force not only people connected with an estate to refrain from asking any portion of it, but to force, so far as they can by violence, the Estates Commissioners to submit themselves to their wishes, and to divide up the land among these people. Hitherto in dealing with land legislation in Ireland we have been dealing with definite bodies—landlords and tenants. It is perfectly true that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) in his Bill for 1903 made guarded provision for certain well-defined classes. There is no such provision in this Bill. 1882 There is not a single provision which is mandatory asking the Commissioners to, provide for any definite class on any estate with which they are dealing. You are departing from every principle which has hitherto guided Parliament in dealing with land in Ireland. We have provision in previous measures dealing separately with the labourers. The Chief Secretary has: stated here to-night that he does not intend that this Clause shall be used for the purpose of benefiting the labourer. Whom is it intended to benefit if the land is to be taken from people who have been using it in the way they think most profitable and suitable? The right hon. Gentleman who takes a different view on political questions may say "That is not the best way to use the land." Is it the best way to have a scramble, fight, disturbance, and agitation in reference to the people who are to get hold of the land? I have read advertisements in regard to grazing land in Meath and Westmeath offering to let land for grazing on the con acre system. That is what the land will be used for unless you put in a provision that they must till or plough it. You cannot do that. If you have no provision of that kind in the Bill you will put the land into the hands of people who may use it in a less profitable way, so far as the agricultural interest of the country is concerned. Not only do you excite the cupidity of people who think they ought to get the land, but you introduce a principle which those who come afterwards to deal with the land of Ireland will find fatal to any true conception of land tenure in Ireland. You are giving the grazing land to those who have created a lawless agitation in the country for the purpose of getting it, and you are trying to prevent any man from securing a holding of a size sufficient to ensure that you would have a farmer with capital and intelligence who would be likely to form an example in farming and good husbandry in the neighbourhood. You want to put the country on a dead level comparatively of small holders, and, what is worse, you are making it easy for landless men and men with small holdings to come to some future Government which is squeezeable and ask them to pass a Bill to take away the lands from the big farmers—men who may have 300 or 400 acres, and who may be regarded as having more than any one man ought to have for the purpose of farming. They will say: "Pass an Act of Parliament by which that man will have to give up half 1883 of his land, and then divide it amongst another class of the community." The right hon. Gentleman should be very careful in this matter. Under the Act which he is amending there are provisions that it must be given to a tenant of a holding on the estate, the son of a tenant on the estate, the tenant of a holding in the neighbourhood, or to an evicted tenant. These are all very definite classes. The first two provisions of the Act of 1903 confine it to persons who were tenants upon the estate or sons of tenants upon. If the right hon. Gentleman is in this position that he can only come forward and say that what any sensible, sane man would regard.as being the ordinary interpretation of this Clause is not what he intends; that the Act of 1885 provided you must get rid of the lands in some way; that you cannot get the people to take them; and if the tenants are satisfied, then the lands might be sold; will he put that into his Section? Will he put into his Section the first two provisions in the Act of 1903, and will he provide that after the tenants on the estate, the sons of tenants, and, if he likes, the evicted tenants, though they are provided for in other ways, have been satisfied, then the lands shall be put up and shall be sold, as they were to be sold under the Act of 1885? It is a test of the bona fides of the right hon. Gentleman in this matter. This is the Clause in which he has almost as much as in any other Clause in this Bill given way to the forces of lawlessness and folly; and if he has long to deal with Ireland, it may be for a year or two, he will bitterly regret this kind of thing. It Is very difficult to put a stop to the feeling of land hunger, which no doubt exists, particularly when that land hunger is fed by the conduct of the Legislature. The right hon. Gentleman may have his big battalions; he may force these things through Committee of this House; he may think that he is doing splendidly because he is propitiating the Nationalist Members who come here, and who have no more feeling in favour of the country than we who come from the North of Ireland. We represent tenants, and tenants who are industrious, and who are just as anxious to get any benefits that they can from the Land Acts, but who are neither willing nor anxious to do what is unjust, or to do anything which would lead to, help or foster agitation, and lawlessness in the country. And they would father have no land legislation than that 1884 legislation should result in promoting a system of lawlessness and a system of disorder. The right hon. Gentleman may feel very easy and comfortable in his mind at present, because their leaders have persuaded these cattle-drivers to keep quiet and lay aside the hazel for a time; but, as some of their representatives in the House have reminded us, they are to keep the hazel in good order, and if they do not get what they want the hazel will come forward again, and the right hon. Gentleman, I suppose, with that threat before him and the other threat of the dogs of war that are to be let slip, brings in this Clause, giving way to forces that ought to be resisted.
It is giving way on a question on which the right hon. Gentleman should be firm. He should take a definite and decided course, and even at the last moment— whatever may be done in the Division which will take place in a few minutes— when this comes up on the Report stage, he should do something to see that the dealing with the land should be properly restricted to definite classes of persons who are the people to whom any provision should pertain in an Act like this.
§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
This is the first Clause on which we recognise fully the extent of the surrender the Chief Secretary has made to the forces represented on the benches below the Gangway. This is another proof of how the Government have resolved to tear up the understanding in which all political parties joined in 1903, when the Land Act of that year was passed through the House. I desire to join in the warning addressed to the Chief Secretary as regards the danger of reawakening this land hunger of which we have seen so much in times past. We all rejoice in the success of the Act of 1903, and I can assure the Chief Secretary that in the North of Ireland the tenant farmers bitterly resent the surrenders which the Government have made, and are proposing to make under this Act. We have heard in the course of the Debate that the Ulster tenant farmers take advantage of what is secured by the action of His Majesty's Ministers. Why should not the Ulster tenant farmers have the advantage of any benefit which the Imperial Parliament confers? Have they been less worthy of the consideration of the Imperial Parliament? [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes."] I am not aware that they have. They have had laid upon them the burden of bringing to its pre- 1885 sent pitch of fertility the most unfertile province in the whole of Ireland. They rejoice in the prosperity to which it has attained, and they claim that, as agriculturists, they have set an example to the rest of Ireland, a fact which, I think, cannot be gainsaid. I feel that in the proposal under Sub-section (e) of this Clause, there is the beginning of the opening-up of a great agrarian trouble in Ireland. It was hoped that wiser counsels would prevail, but apparently they are not to prevail. If the Chief Secretary is under any illusion as to the support which clauses of this character are receiving in Ireland, I would point out that in no Ulster constituency could a meeting be held in favour of any such proposal. When this Bill was before the House on the second reading, I challenged the present Solicitor-General for Ireland (Mr. Redmond Barry) to go to his constituency and ask a vote in favour of this measure. I gave that challenge several months ago, and it remains, and is likely to remain,
§ unaccepted. I also challenged the Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell), and he equally has not so far seen his way to accept that challenge.
The VICE-PRESIDENT of the DEPARTMENT of AGRICULTURE (Ireland) (Mr. T. W. Russell)
The hon. Member will permit me to say that I addressed a full and open meeting of my Constituents at Augnacloy. I submitted this Bill to them, and received a unanimous vote in favour of it.
§ Mr. BARRIE
The hon. Member for South Tyrone did not put the full details before his Constituency—
And, it being Half-past ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, in pursuance of the Order of the House of 15th June, successively to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment, "That the words to the end of Section (1) stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 177, Noes, 31.1887
|Division No. 496.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Field, William||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Gill, A. H.||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Armitage, R.||Ginnell, L.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Glendinning, R. G.||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Glover, Thomas||M'Callum, John M.|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Gulland, John W.||Manfleld, Harry (Northants)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh.)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Boland, John||Harrington, Timothy||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Brodie, H. C.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs, Leigh)||Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, J. J.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Morrell, Philip|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hazleton, Richard||Muldoon, John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Murnaghan, George|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Healy, Timothy Michael||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Henry, Charles S.||Napier, T. B.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Nicholls, George|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hodge, John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hogan, Michael||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Cooper, G. J.||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Horniman, Emsiie John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Crooks, William||Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Hyde, Clarendon G.||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Crossley, William J.||Jackson, R. S.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Cullinan, J.||Jones, William (Carnarvon)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John|
|Delany, William||Kavanagh, Walter M.||O'Grady, J.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Keating, M.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Dillon, John||Kekewich, Sir George||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kilbride, Denis||O'Malley, William|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lamont, Norman||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shee, James John|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lehmann, R. C.||Partington, Oswald|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Lewis, John Herbert||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Lundon, T.||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Pollard, Dr. G. H.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Scanlan, Thomas||Tomkinson, James|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Sears, J. E.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Radford, G. H.||Seddon, J.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Reddy, M.||Shackleton, David James||Wardle, George J.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Shipman, Dr. John G.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Steadman, W. C.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Roche, Augustine (Cork)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Roche, John (Galway, East)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rowlands, J.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain Norton and Mr. Fuller.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gordon, J.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gretton, John||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Haddock, George B.||Moore, William|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Percy, Earl|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hill, Sir Clement||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Kerry, Earl of||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Keswick, William|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Lonsdale and Mr. Hugh Barrie.|
|Forster, Henry William||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)|
§ The Chairman then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of Clauses 17 to 33, and on the Amendments thereto moved by the Government, of which notice had been given.1888
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 178; Noes, 31.1889
|Division No. 497.]||AYES.||[10.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hyde, Clarendon G.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jackson, R. S.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Jones, William (Carnarvon)|
|Armitage, R.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Joyce, Michael|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Kavanagh, Walter M.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Evans, Sir S. T.||Keating, M.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Everett, R. Lacey||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Ffrench, Peter||Kilbride, Denis|
|Barnes, G. N.||Field, William||Lamont, Norman|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lardner, James Carrlge Rushe|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Gill, A. H.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Ginnell, L.||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Black, Arthur W.||Glendinning, R. G.||Lundon, T.|
|Boland, John||Glover, Thomas||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Brodie, H. C||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Grey, Rt. Hon Sir Edward||Mackarness, Frederic C.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Gulland, John W.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||M'Callum, John M.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Harrington, Timothy||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||M'Micking, Major G.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hayden, John Patrick||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Manfield, Harry (Northants)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hazleton, Richard||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Cooper, G. J.||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Healy, Timothy Michael||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Crooks, William||Henry, Charles S.||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Crossley, William J.||Hodge, John||Morrell, Philip|
|Cullinan, J.||Hogan, Michael||Muldoon, John|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Holt, Richard Durning||Murnaghan, George|
|Delany, William||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Horniman, Emslie John||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Dillon, John||Hudson, Walter||Napier, T. B.|
|Nicholls, George||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Radford, G H.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Nugent, Sir Waller Richard||Reddy, M.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Tomkinson, James|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Roche, Augustine (Cork)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Roche, John (Galway, East)||Ure, Rt Hon. Alexander|
|O'Dowd, John||Rowlands, J.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|O'Grady, J.||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.||Wardle, George J.|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|O'Malley, William||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Scanlan, Thomas||Whitehead, Rowland|
|O'Shee, James John||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Sears, J. E.||Wiles, Thomas B.|
|Partington, Oswald||Seddon, J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Shackleton, David James||Young, Samuel|
|Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Pollard, Dr.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain Norton and Mr. Fuller.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Steadman, W. C.|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gordon, J.||Lonsdale, John Brownies|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gretton, John||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Haddock, George B.||Moore, William|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hamilton, Marquess of||Percy, Earl|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Hill, Sir Clement||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Kerry, Earl of|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. Charles Scott-||Keswick, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Long, Rt Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)|