§ (1) No advance exceeding the sum of three thousand pounds shall be sanctioned under the Land Purchase Acts to any tenant in pursuance of an agreement for the purchase of a holding entered into after the passing of this Act unless he resides on the holding, and the Land Commission consider that an advance of a larger amount not exceeding five thousand pounds may properly be sanctioned.
§ (2) A person shall be deemed to reside on a holding within the meaning of this section if he occupies a house in the immediate neighbourhood for the purpose of working or managing the holding.
§ (3) Section two of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1888, and Subsection (4) of Section 1 of the Act of 1903, shall cease to have effect save as regards advances in pursuance of purchase agreements entered into before the passing of this Act.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
moved, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "he resides on the holding" and to insert instead thereof the words:
"(a) the tenant resides on the holding, or (b) a substantial portion of the holding has been tilled in each of the five years next preceding the date of the agreement."
2197 The object of this Amendment is to enable a tenant who uses his holding or a substantial portion of it for tillage to any substantial extent to obtain an advance up to the maximum of £5,000. An Amendment to that effect was put down on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Kildare, which called my attention to the matter, and I hope the Committee will think it is a desirable thing to encourage tillage as much as possible. Any advantage of this sort enabling a person to obtain a larger advance than he otherwise would be entitled to is well worthy of consideration. I see there are Amendments down. I am at present advised they are not in any sense of the word improvements, but, of course, I will consider them when they are moved.
§ Mr. MOORE
I am one of those who agree that it is very desirable to increase tillage, and I approve of the spirit of the Chief Secretary's Amendments. But I think in some respects they do not carry out his object so well as the Amendments which I have put on the Paper, and, on consideration, I believe the right hon. Gentleman will see that that is so. I do not think that the class of people who are entitled to come in and claim advances should be limited in any way. The Chief Secretary, however, has unduly limited that class by insisting that he who is entitled to an advance must reside on the holding. I agree it is desirable he should do so, but it is not always the case that he can. It must be within the knowledge of the Attorney-General that a man living in or immediately outside a town has a farm which he works just as much as any man who might live on the farm. He superintends the tillage proceedings and I think it would be very hard indeed that he should be excluded.
§ Mr. MOORE
That certainly removes my objection; but there is another point. Suppose that he lives on a different farm. Under the Land Act of 1881 it was recognised that a farm used as a particular holding, even if the tenant did not reside on it, came within the Act. Where a man has two farms, and I think some men with one farm only have a great deal more land on their hands, if this is to encourage tillage the two farms should be looked at together. It might be convenient for him to have one farm in tillage and the other in pasture, and that would be practically 2198 the same as if he had one-half of each farm in tillage and the other half under pasturage. I submit that that case should have the advantage of this Section; that the two holdings should be treated as if they were held together. Surely there can be nothing unreasonable in that. I come now to the question of tillage. I think the Chief Secretary's Amendment is unworkable. First, it says that a substantial part of the holding must be under tillage, but take the case of a man who has a hundred acres of grazing on a mountain and ten acres under tillage in the valley below. That, I believe, is a not uncommon case; indeed, it happens again and again. Can anyone say that if the whole ten acres were devoted to tillage that would constitute a substantial part of the holding? I think the Chief Secretary must limit his Amendment to cases where that part of the holding which is arable is reasonably under tillage. That is the way in which I put it in my Amendment. I am sure the Chief Secretary does not want land to be broken up for tillage simply in order to bring it under this Clause. He does not want land put under tillage which is not fit for it. There is nothing to be gained by forcing land unnaturally into tillage. Therefore, I do suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should so restrict his words as to make them apply to that portion of the holding which is reasonably fit for tillage. The only way to do that is to use some such word as "arable," and I commend that suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman. Then the right hon. Gentleman goes on to propose that a substantial portion of the holding must have been tilled in each of the five years next preceding the date of the agreement; I hardly understand what he means by that. We have an ordinary practice in the North of Ireland in regard to rotation of crops, and in the last of the five years there is an artificially growing crop. I do suggest to the Chief Secretary it is only recently that this idea of that universal tillage has taken root in the country. Five years ago people were not so much concerned about it, and I think it is rather hard to say that because five years ago a man had not the least idea that a Bill of this sort was going to be passed he should be precluded from getting an advance, because five years ago he did not put a certain part of his lands under the plough. I suggest it would help the friends of tillage much better if it were provided that at the date of the agreement a substantial part of the 2199 holding was under tillage. I would suggest a fourth part. There could be no difficulty about that. It is a reasonable proportion of the arable part of the holding. I think you will have to take the words "under rotation of crops" to actually mean, if you are to keep within this Clause, that you must plough every acre of your farm every year. That is absolute nonsense, as every practical man will know. The Chief Secretary will be well advised if he will make it clear that he does not want land to be unnecessarily broken up, and, therefore, I suggest that the words of my Amendment are better, and will carry out his object more effectually than the words which he has placed on the Paper. I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name.
It will be necessary first to omit certain words.
Question, "That the words 'he resides on the holding' stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
Question proposed, "That the words '(a) the tenant resides on the holding, or' be there inserted."—[Mr. Birrell.]
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, after the word "or," to add the words "adjacently thereto, or such holding is ordinarily used with the holding on which the tenant resides."—[Mr. Moore]
Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I hope the hon. Gentleman will see that this Amendment is not necessary. This does not deal with the question of the original advance up to £3,000. We are only dealing with exceptional favours given in certain cases to people who want a larger advance. £3,000 is the amount in the considerable majority of cases. If a man occupies two holdings under the same landlord there is no reason why they should not be amalgamated, but if they are under different landlords I do not see why in such cases there should be any addition made to the limitation of £3,000. Take the case of a tenant who lives either actually on the holding or close to it—so close as to enable him to look after all the farming operations. That is the man we have in mind. He is a practical farmer. We are not considering other persons who have farms in addition to other holdings at a considerable distance, or who use the farms as a means of feeding 2200 another calling. That is not the sort of person we have to bear in mind. We want to look after the practical farmer. He is the man we wish to encourage—the man who carries on the business under his own personal supervision.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I do not propose now to adopt a hostile attitude towards limiting the amount of money advanced in normal cases. The Chief Secretary has asked why, where a tenant has two holdings under one landlord, he cannot amalgamate. I think the provisions of the Bill prevent that being done. Would it not amount to the creation of a new tenancy? If it would, then it is ruled out by provisions of the Chief Secretary's proposal. I recollect when we were discussing a cognate subject in 1893 many hon. Members below the Gangway from Ireland used arguments in favour of greater latitude. I was overborne in the Debate, and many examples were advanced of farms which would be excluded unadvisedly. I imagine that in the case of two holdings near each other being worked by one agricultural operator, it would be well that they should be amalgamated, as the Chief Secretary advised us, but the question is whether it is practicable—I do not think it is under the Bill as it stands, owing to the provision with regard to the creation of new tenancies.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The Government now propose to create a new precedent. It must be remembered that the object is to get rid of rent fixing; to get rid of the Land Commission, the Sub-commissioners, and the whole unpleasant system of fighting by law. A new state of things is going to be created, under which persons who have fixed a fair rent will be excluded from land purchase. I think perhaps it was undesirable to have started this scheme, but there it is. The Government have taken their line, and they are entitled to give their money to whom they please. The second limitation of the proposal has reference to the word "substantially," which is a word of very considerable difficulty. I think the word should not be used in the sense in which it is used here. When Lord Monk was a Commissioner he laid down that a very small portion of tillage—
There are two Amendments on the Paper by the hon. Member, and we are dealing, in the first place, with the first one. The remarks of the hon. Gentleman are therefore not in order.
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
May I ask if the Chief Secretary has considered the somewhat technical term "holding" in respect to Irish land? It means any parcel of land held by a separate tenant, but it very often happens that there are several so-called technical legal holdings, forming one substantial holding, in fact. I think the right hon. Gentleman has just given us an illustration, and I remember a case in which I appeared for the tenants on an estate. There was hardly a tenant on the estate who had not two leases, and some of them had three and four. But although the tenant had two or three, or more, leases, there was only one holding in fact, although there might be four holdings in law and only one in form. What I am afraid of arises under the second Sub-section. Supposing the tenant has a house anywhere on a holding, the second Sub-section will enable him to purchase, because in respect of one of the two lots of land he occupies he may be said to reside in the immediate neighbourhood. I am afraid, however, that this may be construed to have an effect which the Chief Secretary does not contemplate. A man may have two lots of land, under two different leases, and the two lots of land constitute in fact one holding, though the house may be a considerable distance off either of them, and could not be said to be in the immediate neighbourhood. It is that which makes me a little afraid of that second Subjection, and I confess that I think my hon. Friend above the Gangway selected apt words from the Act of 1881, which I think would prevent any misapprehension which could possibly ensue from the somewhat narrow construction of the words used. The Chief Secretary says, "You may consolidate the two or three holdings in law," but then that creates a new tenancy, and you might then get caught in some of the other excluding clauses of the Bill, which may subject you to a very serious penalty, if your tenancy is created after a certain date. I am aware that the Estates Commissioners have more than once held, under the existing Land Purchase Acts, where it is convenient, that the holdings should be sub-divided or amalgamated, but that constitutes a new tenancy under one of the Clauses of the Act of 1903. I, therefore, think, whatever may be said for my hon. Friend's second Amendment, the Chief Secretary would do well to consider the first Amendment, because, I think, unless some such words as my hon. Friend proposes are adopted, a man will be held 2202 not to reside on his holding for the technical reason that his holding is, in fact, split up into several parts.
§ Mr. CHERRY
The hon. and learned Member, who has just sat down, thinks that the Government in framing this Bill did not take into consideration the technical meaning of the word "holding." My reply is that they did take this very matter into consideration, and for that very reason included the second Sub-section of the Clause. If the hon. Member will look at that Sub-section he will see that it is perfectly framed to meet every point in regard to the meaning of the word "holding" which he has raised. A man may live on a farm, which is adjoining or near, or in a house which he holds in fee simple, either in town or country, or he can even occupy lodgings, although a lodging is an unusual place for a man who is working on a farm to reside at. It is not usual that he should live in lodgings. I think the word "occupies" is used in the very widest sense of living in the house, and I think it would be within it to occupy a house in the sense of living in it. The question is, however, not the meaning of the word "occupies" at all, but the meaning of the word "holding" and the words, "occupies a house" are introduced for the very purpose of meeting the case when a man is residing not on the holding. It may not be agricultural in character, but this Sub-section does not exclude another farm.
§ Mr. CHERRY
Of course, if there are two farms near to or adjoining each other and both are tillage farms, and the man lives on one, both will be brought under the Sub-section, because he occupies a house in the immediate neighbourhood. Each case, however, will be dealt with by the Commissioners, and to pin them down to "immediate neighbourhood" is perhaps not too much, as there is very little difference between "immediate neighbourhood" and "neighbourhood." What we get in is this: If a man is bonâ fide working the holding as a tillage holding, he is bound to live either on the holding or somewhere near it; but if he has two classes of holdings, he may have a pasture holding miles away from the tillage holding. So that I think the words suggested by the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh (Mr. Moore) are not suited to this particular case. They are taken from a Clause under the Act of 1881, where all the land is let for tillage.
§ Mr. CHERRY
The hon. and learned Gentleman is under a misapprehension. I am speaking of residence. I was about to say that the test of residence, under this Clause, ought to be a severer one than under the Act of 1881, from which the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh drew his words, and I think we have made it a good deal more strict. A man must live on the holding or in the neighbourhood, and I do not think it desirable to extend it as far as the hon. Member desires, so that a man can live 20 or 30 miles away.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I do hope the Chief Secretary will give more consideration to these words proposed by the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh. The words are thoroughly understood; they have been in force in Ireland for over 20 years, and they have on several occasions formed the subject matter of judicial decision, so that we have this advantage in using these words, that we know exactly where we are and what is meant. On the other hand, if you take a new departure and insert new phraseology, we shall never know where we are until we have been to the courts, and have a decision on the point. I would point out to the Chief Secretary that it is an additional advantage to have words that we know the meaning of. Under a decision of the courts the words proposed to be inserted by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Armagh have been decided to mean a farm ordinarily worked in the sense of mixed rotation of crops and cattle, and if one farm is used for tillage the other farm shall be used for cattle and vice versâ. There is a very clear decision that these words have no application unless there is a clear interworking of the two farms as one farm. And, therefore, if the right hon. Gentleman wishes to carry out what he intends, he will do it by the words of the hon. and learned Member, which, as I have said, have the advantage that they are properly understood and have had judicial interpretation. Over and above that, they will meet a case which otherwise it would be unjust to omit. Let me give him one or two examples. Take the case of a man who has one or two adjoining farms, or a farm at some little distance off from his house, which is on one and not on the other. Will he be covered by Sub-section (2) of this Bill as it now stands? I do not think he will, because what was contemplated was 2204 not a man who lives on an adjoining farm, but a man who lives in a residence. That is a house as distinguished from a farm or holding. Why should a man in the town who lives over a shop having a farm in the suburbs—why should he be let in, and why should you exclude the man who lives in the suburbs and lives on a farm which has a house upon it? Unless you take words which are already terms of art, and have received judicial interpretation, you are opening by this provision in your Bill, as it now stands, a new chapter of litigation for tenants and landlords in Ireland. That is not a matter which affects me with very great concern or anger.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I am not so sure that it does to the extent that the right hon. Gentleman professes. I believe he has a sneaking regard for his old profession, although he often indulges in rather severe criticism and caustic comment upon his comrades. What I want to say is, if this Clause ever becomes law, it should be workable and should not be a fresh bone of contention and the cause of further litigation between landlord and tenant. It is on that view that I frankly say my opinion is that the right hon. Gentleman will be well advised if he would accept those words. It may be that it might widen the scope of the Clause a little, but on the other hand you have the large counter-balancing advantage of using language which is scientific, and as to which there can be no mistake, and which will not require many cases in the courts in order to have the definition actually determined. I, therefore, suggest that the right hon. Gentleman ought to accept the words that have been proposed.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I quite agree. Naturally enough it is difficult, and it is very desirable to use the right language. I feel that the language proposed by the hon. and learned Member is to some extent a restriction upon the distance at which a man may live who is claiming the benefit of having tilled a farm in such a way as to entitle him to the extra grant, because, as I understand, according to decisions in the Irish courts "adjacent thereto" means actually adjacent. I do not want to employ words which will in any way interfere with Sub-section (2), although I agree that Sub-section (2) might advantageously perhaps, to some extent, be altered if there is any idea that "occupying a house" 2205 means a person living like a gentleman so to speak, doing nothing in one house and working a farm in another. I certainly thought occupying a house meant occupying a house on another farm. However, I will consider the point on Sub-section (2). I do not want to exclude a person who lives in a house not on a farm, but I do not want to exclude a person who occupies a house on a farm. I can quite imagine the case of a person who occupies a house which is in no way connected with agricultural operations, and does work in the neighbourhood of that house, on a tillage farm. I certainly do not want to exclude the still better class of person who works one tillage farm and lives in a house on a second farm. I will consider whether any alteration is necessary.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I certainly cannot admit that it was necessary to recommit the Bill. I did it in order to meet hon. Gentlemen who desired to improve the Bill. However that may be, I do not think there is any objection to these words being there inserted, always provided that Subsection (2) remains in a proper form.
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question proposed, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, at the end of paragraph (a), to insert the words "such holding is ordinarily used with the holding on which the tenant resides."
§ Mr. O'SHEE
The dominant words in the Clause are "unless he resides on the holding." To what date do these words refer. The date of the entry into the purchase agreement or the actual date of making the advance? If it means the date of making the advance, it is quite easy for a tenant who has already got an advance of £3,000 on one holding, to change his residence and enter into another purchase agreement and get an additional advance of £2,000. If it relates to the date of the agreement it would be much more difficult to evade the Clause, but as the words are it can be very easily evaded.
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, to leave out paragraph (b), 2206 and to add "(b) one-fourth part of the arable part of the holding is, at the date of the agreement, under rotation of crops."— [Mr. Moore.]
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
There are many holdings which are not tillable at all. Take a mountain. In many of these cases there is no tillage land upon them. Or, take large tracts of land, which are called crag lands, in West Clare, which it is impossible to till. If these words are adopted in the form in which the Chief Secretary has put them on the Paper it presupposes that all holdings are tillable. But all holdings are not tillable, and you would be excluding every tenant in the crag-lands of Clare from the possibility of getting the benefit of this extra money because it has been decided that these holdings have been made for the purpose of pasture. Then the word "substantial" in this collocation has received an entirely different interpretation from the word "substantial" in the Land Law Acts dealing with tenure, because under the Land Law Acts the view of the Courts has been this. If you have 50 acres of land and you till five or six, the expense of tilling and the difficulty of providing manure for the tillage portion has given the courts the tendency to hold that a substantial portion of the land in these cases is tilled, and, therefore, the tenant comes within the fair rent provisions of the statute. I am greatly afraid, however, that unless you use some such words as "having regard to considerations of good husbandry" the effect of introducing the word "substantial" will be that it means the greater portion. It is impossible, having regard to the conditions of good husbandry in Ireland, except in a few places near Belfast, Dublin, or, perhaps, Cork, where it is possible to get manure to till the substantial portion of any holding, if "substantial" means the larger part. In some parts of Ireland you may have the majority of acres in a holding in tillage, and I am afraid, as these words now stand, unless you introduce the words "having regard to considerations of good husbandry," you are practically cutting down this provision and making it a nullity. This is not putting a premium upon tillage, because the holding must be in tillage for the five years last past before the consideration of the Clause arises. I can see nothing in the Clause to give the slightest encouragement to tillage.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not quite follow the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The whole substance of the Amend- 2207 ment is to encourage tillage in the future to this extent, that it enables a person, a substantial portion of whose farm is tilled, to get a larger advance than he otherwise would. The object of the Clause is to encourage a man who has a farm capable of tillage to put more money into the tillage, because he can get a larger grant. Mountain and crag land is not before us. The hon. and learned Gentleman says it does not encourage tillage, because a man must till it for a number of years before he gets the grant. But land purchase is going on, and it will operate in future as an en-couragement to the man to indulge in the greater outlay which is necessary for such a farm. What a substantial part of a holding is must be determined by the persons who sanction the advance. It is not a question of litigation to ascertain what three or four judges think the word "substantial" means. Supposing a man has 500 acres of bog and only one acre of arable land. Is it to be contended that if he puts one-fourth of an acre under arable land he is to be entitled to a grant of £5,000? That is obviously ridiculous. You have to consider the nature of his holding.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No one suggests that he should till the bog. He has to till the land, and to have done it for five years on the chance before he gets any advance at all. That surely indicates that the land is capable of repaying the trouble and outlay which is necessary for putting it under crops. That is sufficient evidence of the fact that the extra grant would only be made when a person has for five years put the farm under tillage. The notion that he is going to till a mountain for five years in the hope of extorting an extra advance of £2,000 is really absurd. The Clause meets the necessities of the case. What is meant by substantial is a question which will depend upon the amount of land which has been tilled, having regard to what the farm is capable of. I think no real difficulty will arise as to the question of the rotation of crops. I think the words in paragraph (b) will be governed by the circumstances of the farm and what has been done during the five yeans preceding the date of the agreement. The question how far that can be called tillage or not will be considered when the fanner makes application for a larger advance than otherwise he would be entitled to do.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I do not see how it impossible to get words which will exactly express the intention of the Government in this matter. I remember that we spent a long time in 1903 in trying to find words for that purpose, and ultimately we were driven to say that it should be left to the discretion of the Commissioners. When we endeavoured to find a definition hon. Members who had knowledge of the particular circumstances were able to get up and say "these words will not cover every case," and at last Parliament decided only to make these advances when the Commissioners considered it expedient to do so. I doubt whether it is possible to improve upon that. You propose that the normal amount shall be exceeded in certain circumstances, and I think the more sensible way is to say that it shall be done when the Commissioners think that it is expedient to be done. I think my hon. and learned Friend's argument shows that these are not the right words. They will not carry out your object, which is to encourage large mixed farms which have to be carried on in a high state of cultivation. Farms which are worth £3,000 are rarities in Ireland, and I believe the Chief Secretary had better leave this matter to the Commissioners, or adopt the words of my hon. and learned Friend, which are better than those proposed by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I cannot help remembering the 33 nights when Mr. Gladstone's Land Act was considered in this House. It was said then that the exclusions would be used to punish tenants who had already fair rents fixed. I content myself with entering an earnest protest against this serious departure from the well-considered definitions of Mr. Gladstone's Land Act.
I wish to associate myself with my hon. and learned Friend in trying to improve the Amendment proposed by the Chief Secretary. So far, I do not know that any argument has been directed against my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment. The whole criticism has been that the words of the Chief Secretary are sufficient to meet the case. I think those who have any knowledge of tilling in Ireland would be on the side of my hon. and learned Friend. I cannot make out how it will be possible to till in the true sense of the word in each of the preceding live years, because many farmers raise a flax crop, and it does 2209 not do to put it down more than once in seven years. If a man goes in for flax and then grain, he cannot possibly till the ground in each of the five years. Is that man who has saved up his ground in order to make it rich and tillable for this particular crop of flax to be cut out from the benefit of these advances? I think the object of everybody in Ireland is to try to gat as much land into flax cultivation as possible. It is one of the most important crops in the North of Ireland, and every endeavour has been made on the large farms to put down as much as possible of this crop. The great weaving industry depends largely on the importation of the foreign grown stuff, and consequently there is a desire to encourage flax growing in Ireland to the utmost possible extent. The words proposed by the Chief Secretary are such that anyone who desires to grow flax will certainly be shut out of the extra grant which may be made by the Estates Commissioners. I think that is most unfair. The scheme of the right hon. Gentleman is put in such a way as to specifically exclude this one crop. Barley, wheat, rye, and other cereals can be grown in the ordinary rotation, and consequently it is possible to till a farm so that it will fall within the four corners of the provision which entitles a man to have
|Division No. 665.]||AYES.||[7.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gill, A. K.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Ginnell, L.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John|
|Alden, Percy||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Glendinning, R. G.|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Glover, Thomas|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Cowan, W. H.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Cox, Harold||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Crosfield, A. H.||Gulland, John W.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cullinan, J.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Barker, Sir John||Curran, Peter Francis||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Harrington, Timothy|
|Barnard, E. B.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Harwood, George|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Delany, William||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Beauchamp, E.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Dillon, John||Henry, Charles S.|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Dobson, Thomas W.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Duffy, William J.||Hogan, Michael|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Black, Arthur W.||Elibank, Master of||Holt, Richard Dunning|
|Boland, John||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Hooper, A. G.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Essex, R. W.||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Branch, James||Evans, Sir S. T.||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Everett, R. Lacey||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Fenwick, Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Burnyeat, W. J. D.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Joyce, Michael|
|Byles, William Pollard||Ffrench, Peter||Kavanagh, Walter M.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Field, William||Keating, M.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Flynn, James Christopher||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Fuller, John Michael F.||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Clough, William||Fullerton, Hugh||Lambert, George|
|Clynes, J. R.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lamont, Norman|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Gilhooly, James||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
§ this grant. That is quite fair. That being so, my hon. and learned Friend comes along and says, "Do not exclude flax." His Amendment would cover the case to which I refer. If a man has a flax crop one year he could not grow it again on the same land till seven years afterwards, and if it was in grass it would be in the rotation of the flax crop. I have not heard one word from the Chief Secretary to explain why he goes out of his way to exclude, this most important point so far as the North of Ireland is concerned. I presume it has something to do with what he would call the "balance of power," because there is not so much flax grown in the South and West of Ireland as in the North. I presume, therefore, that he takes this opportunity for doing us rather an ill-turn. It may come under the category of drawbacks included in the expression, "Minorities must suffer." Because we grow so much flax, which brings prosperity to the country, he refuses to accept my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment, which would remedy a glaring evil.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 215; Noes, 49.
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis||Nuttall, Harry||Seely, Colonel|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Shackleton, David James|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Lundon, T.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sheehy, David|
|Lupton, Arnold||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, West)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Lynch, A. (Clare, W.)||O'Dowd, John||Snowdon, P.|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||O'Malley, William||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Summerbell, T.|
|M'Kean, John||O'Shee, James John||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Partington, Oswald||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Pointer, J.||Tillett, Louis John|
|Marnham, F. J.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Massie, J.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Meagher, Michael||Rainy, A. Rolland||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Raphael, Herbert H.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Menzies, Sir Waiter||Reddy, M.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Middlebrook, William||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Redmond, William (Clare)||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Mooney, J. J.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Muldoon, John||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Murnaghan, George||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Young, Samuel|
|Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Roc, Sir Thomas|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Waiter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Nicholls, George||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Nolan, Joseph||Scarisbrick, Sir T. T. L.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Moore, William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fell, Arthur||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, J. S.||Percy, Earl|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Forster, Henry William||Renton, Leslie|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gordon, J.||Rutherford, Watson, (Liverpool)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edmunds)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hamilton, Marquess of||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George O.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark)|
|Clark, George Smith||Kerry, Earl of||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clive, Percy Archer||Keswick, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr Lonsdale and Captain Craig.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
§ Question proposed, to leave out the words "he resides on the holding," and insert instead thereof the words: "(a) the tenant resides on the holding, or such holding is ordinarily used with the holding on which the tenant resides, or (b) a substantial portion of the holding has been tilled in each of the five years next preceding the date of the agreement,"
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has considered the effect of those words on the Clause? I should have thought that having enacted that residence is a good qualification for an advance of £5,000, it would not be left in the hands of the Land 2212 Commission to say that, notwithstanding residence on the land, the money shall not be advanced. What I object to is putting in the word "property" without giving the Land Commission any sort of guidance.
§ Mr. MAURICE HEALY
I submit that it arises in this way: While the Clause failed to mention any specific conditions on which the £5,000 advance was to be made, it was a reasonable thing to give a general discretion to the Land Commission to say whether or not they should advance up to the £5,000 limit; but when you put in an 2213 express rule to guide the Land Commission, then the reason for preserving the discretion of the Land Commission ceases to exist.
That is outside the scope of this Amendment. What was strictly relevant on the Amendment has been dealt with.
§ Question, "That these words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. MOORE
My right hon. Friend the Member for Dover expressed the opinion that it was desirable as a matter of policy to limit the amount of the advances to a certain figure. I dissent from that view. When you get a man who must be in bonâ fide occupation of a holding, it seems to me wrong that he should be debarred because of the size of his holding from getting an advance of the money necessary to enable him to become an owner. A man is shut out because his holding is too large. This leads to subdividing the property and getting one advance for a son, another for himself, and so on. As has been pointed out, it is perfectly easy to get outside these limitations. I cannot see any reason for maintaining the unnecessary, irritating, and unfair limitations embodied in this Clause. It is not a matter of policy, but a matter of right. The Chief Secretary referred to people who got advances as receiving favours. I do not see that. The Statute was passed for the whole community for public purposes. Any man who is entitled to an advance should get it, not as a favour, but a right, and the right to get advances should be the same for everybody.
I should like to ask the Chief Secretary whether this limitation of advances will affect those who come within the scope of the alteration announced this afternoon? I should also like to know how the right hon. Gentleman can explain the cause of this sudden drop in the limit of advances from £7,000 to £3,000, because it is an extraordinary thing, after so many millions worth of property have been sold in Ireland under the 1903 Act, to have the limit of advances reduced so 2214 much. What I fear is that it will have the effect of making a man compulsorily divide up his farm and constantly convert it into uneconomic farms. In England and in Ireland the whole problem appeared to be at one time the encouragement of small farms, and to acquire land by legislation in order to provide what is called the "economic holding." To me, however, this particular Clause seems to go in the other direction. Some years ago a great demand was made by the tenants to have their farms divided in order that they might leave them to their children, and perhaps there would be a sub-division into two or three holdings where there were two or three children. Nearly everyone who had any experience at all of agriculture came to the conclusion that to go on sub-dividing those farms would really be ruinous to the country. Why should the Government suddenly change the limit from £7,000 to £3,000? Not one word has been advanced to the Committee in support of their proposal, and I do think, when we come to such an important Clause as is Clause 15, the right hon. Gentleman should give us some explanation of the great change which has been made, and tell us why it has become necessary. Another point on which I should like information has reference to the second section of the Clause, which has been more discussed. If a man occupies a house it means that he occupies it distinctly in a legal sense, and not from the point of view of simply living in the house, perhaps with his father or his uncle, or something of that sort. The Chief Secretary says it will be all right, and that later on the Estates Commissioners will take all these points into consideration. But what we have to consider is not the action which may be taken by the Estates Commissioners, but the actual wording of the Clause. I ask the Attorney-General for Ireland, first of all, whether to occupy does not mean, in legal phraseology, paying the rates and meeting burdens of that character, and not merely living in the house with father or uncle? You could not certify that a person living in a house in those circumstances was an occupier, and I think the word "occupies" will cause trouble later on. If the Treasury refuse to grant this £3,000, then the matter is to be passed on to the Estates Commissioners. I presume counsel may be employed, and if counsel come to argue the case they must tie themselves down to the actual wording of the Clause. Therefore, I think the Attorney- 2215 General, who is paid for the purpose, should keep us right in this matter, and tell us definitely one way or the other whether the word "occupies" is to be interpreted in the sense which I have suggested, and not simply as meaning a person living in a house.
The next point to which I desire to call attention has reference to the words in Section (2)—"in the immediate neighbourhood." A man might have a farm running into two counties, or into two townlands, and what I want to know is what is the radius at the back of the Government's minds in respect of the use of the words "in the immediate neighbourhood"? Does it mean a radius of 20 or 30 miles? I should like to have legal opinion on these points. Then there is a further point arising on the words "working or managing the holding." The Section says, "a person shall be deemed to reside on a holding within the meaning of this section if he occupies the house," etc., "for working or managing the holding." Section (1) says that "no advance exceeding the sum of £3,000 shall be sanctioned under the
|Division No. 666.]||AYES.||[7.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Cowan, W. H.||Harwood, George|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cox, Harold||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Alden, Percy||Crosfield, A. H.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Cullinan, J.||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Curran, Peter Francis||Higham, John Sharp|
|Ambrose, Robert||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Hogan, Michael|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Delany, William||Jardine, Sir J.|
|Barker, Sir John||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Dillon, John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Dobson, Thomas W.||Joyce, Michael|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Duffy, William J.||Kavanagh, Walter M.|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Elibank, Master of||Keating, M.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Essex, R. W.||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Evans, Sir S. T.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Bell, Richard||Everett, R. Lacey||Kilbride, Denis|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Farrell, James Patrick||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Fenwick, Charles||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lambert, George|
|Black, Arthur W.||Ffrench, Peter||Lamont, Norman|
|Boland, John||Field, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Branch, James||Flynn, James Christopher||Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Fuller, John Michael F.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Fullerton, Hugh||Lundon, T.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lupton, Arnold|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gilhooly, James||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gill, A. H.||Lynch, A. (Clare, W.)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Ginnell, L.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Glendinning, R. G.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Glover, Thomas||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)|
|Clough, William||Gulland, John W.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Mallet, Charles E.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Harrington, Timothy||Marnham, F. J.|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Meagher, Michael|
§ Land Purchase Acts to any tenant for the purchase of a holding unless he resides on the holding," etc. Then in Section (2) it says that "a person shall be deemed to reside on the holding if he occupies a house in the immediate neghbourhood for the purpose of working or managing the holding." It seems somewhat strange that we should have this Clause put before us without a single word of explanation being given by the Government. I should like to hear from the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, or one of his colleagues, whether a man who has not an actual interest in the holding, but simply manages it at a fixed salary, is also to be entitled to the grant for the farm on which he is engaged? These are the points I put before the Committee, and which I should like to have answered before we go to a Division. It is quite clear that at present we are asked to vote, though we are more or less in the dark.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 203; Noes, 36.
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||O'Shee, James John||Snowdon, P.|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Partington, Oswald||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Middlebrook, William||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Summerbell, T.|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Pointer, J.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Power, Patrick Joseph||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)|
|Muldoon, John||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Murnaghan, George||Rainy, A. Rolland||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Raphael, Herbert H.||Thorne, G. R. (Woverhampton)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Nicholls, George||Reddy, M.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Redmond, William Clare||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Roch, Waiter F. (Pembroke)||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, West)||Seely, Colonel||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Dowd, John||Shackleton, David James||Young, Samuel|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Shoehan, Daniel Daniel|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sheehy, David||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|O'Malley, William||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Douglas, Re. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fletcher, J. S.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Forster, Henry William||Renton, Leslie|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Gordon, J.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hamilton, Marquess of||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kerry, Earl of||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clark, George Smith||Keswick, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Moore and Captain Craig.|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. Charles Scott||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|