HC Deb 15 September 1909 vol 10 cc2155-73

(1) The percentage payable under Section forty-eight of the Act of 1903 stall be calculated at the rates specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and for the purposes of that Section the percentage at the rates so specified shall be deemed to be the percentage under that Section:

Provided that—

  1. (a) the percentage payable on the purchase money of an estate, which consists of or includes lands in respect of which there are purchase agreements entered into or deemed in pursuance of this Section to have been entered into on or before the twenty-fourth day of November, nineteen hundred and eight, shall (so far as the percentage is payable in respect of the purchase of those lands) be calculated at the rate of twelve per cent. instead of being calculated under this Section; and
  2. (b) where any percentage calculated under this Section is payable at a higher rate than five per cent., any sum by which the amount of percent age exceeds the amount which would have been payable if the percentage were calculated at the rate of five per cent. shall be added to the purchase money and not paid to the vendor.

(2) An agreement for the purchase of any estate or land, though not entered into on or before the twenty-fourth day of November, nineteen hundred and eight, shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Section, to be a purchase agreement entered into on or before that date, where on or before that date—

  1. (a) the vendor has lodged an originating request in manner provided by rules made under the Act of 1903 with a view to the purchase of the estate or land by the Land Commission under Section six of that Act or by the Congested Districts Board under Section seventy-nine of that Act; or
  2. (b) the vendor has accepted a preliminary estimate of price made by the Land Commission with a view to the purchase of the estate or land under Sections six or eight of the Act of 1903, or entered into a preliminary agree- 2156 ment with the Congested Districts Board with a view to the purchase of the estate or land under Section seventy-nine of that Act; or
  3. (c) the Land Commission under Section seven or the Congested Districts Board under Section seventy-seven of the Act of 1903 have made an offer (which is eventually accepted) to the land judge for the purchase of the estate or land; or
  4. (d) the Estates Commissioners have made an offer for the purchase of the estate or land under Sub-section (4) of Section two of the Evicted Tenants (Ireland) Act, 1907.

(3) So much of Section forty-seven of the Act of 1903 as limits the total of the sums payable to the Land Purchase Aid Fund to twelve million pounds shall cease to have effect.


moved to leave out paragraph (c), and to insert, "(c) the land judge in the course of proceedings in which the estate or land is eventually sold to the Land Commission under Section seven, or to the Congested Districts Board under Section seventy-seven of the Act of 1903, has caused the Commission or Board to be furnished with particulars and documents respecting the estate or land in pursuance of either of these Sections; or."

Notwithstanding the Division which has just taken place, the fact is that every one of this series of Amendments has been put upon the Paper by me, and the re-committal has been necessary, because they involve a charge upon the Treasury; and this I did, as I thought, in deference to the wishes of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland, wherever they sit, and one of these Amendments is put upon the Paper to meet the express wish of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin (Mr. Walter Long). I, therefore, proceed at once, hoping that very little time will be occupied over these Amendments, to explain the purpose of the first of them. The object of this Amendment is to secure that the bonus and purchase money will be payable on the old rates—an agreeable process, I should have thought—on the sales by the land judge to the Estates Commissioners under Section 7, or to the Congested Districts Board under Section 77, of the Act of 1903, where proceedings have reached a certain stage before the 24th of November.

The Amendment is the effect of many requests that have reached me to give the benefits of the old rate to the earlier stages of the proceedings. The successive stages on the sales by the land judge under the two sections I have quoted are as follows: The first process is for the Estates Commissioners or the Congested Districts Board to request the land judge to furnish them with particulars of the estate; the second is that the land judge furnishes particulars; the third, that the Commissioners or the Board have to inspect the estate, and after obtaining undertakings to purchase from the tenants, make an offer to the land judge; and the fourth, the land judge, if he accepts the offer, declares the Commissioners or the Board to be the purchasers, and the transaction comes to an end. The original paragraph provided that when the proceedings had reached the third stage, that is the making of the offer by the Commissioners or Board, before 24th November last, the old rates were to apply. It was pointed out to me that a long period necessarily had to elapse after the date when the land judge furnished the particulars before the Commissioners or Board would be in a position to make an offer. As this delay was not occasioned by the fault of either party, but simply by the enormous amount of business to be dealt with by these bodies, it seemed to be reasonable to adopt the principle that people should not be placed at a disadvantage simply because the machinery is so clogged that delay occurs in carrying it out. Therefore, I have taken the second stage of the proceedings; namely, the furnishing of the particulars by the land judge, and I have provided that where this has been done in the case of any estate before November 24th last the old rates are to obtain, provided the matter proceeds to an actual conclusion. I have made an estimate of this matter, and the purchase money of the estates which will obtain the benefit of the alteration I am now making is, in the case of sales to the Estates Commissioners, £315,371, and in the case of sales to the Congested Districts Board £120,000, making a total of £435,371, on which the bonus, calculated at 12 per cent., is £52,244.


As far as my recollection goes, this matter was never debated when we were in Committee. I do not think the Amendment was put on the Paper before yesterday, and I protest against the tone of the Chief Secretary. When he gets us back into Committee, and a new matter is put down by the Government, the right hon. Gentleman says these Clauses are carrying out suggestions made to him by Members from all parts of Ireland. I do not dispute that, but when the Committee remembers that we have never had a chance of debating them originally, it is not unreasonable for any section of the House to ask how far the Government proposal does carry out these suggestions, and certainly as far as any new Amendments have been put down by the Chief Secretary, we shall consider ourselves just as free to examine them as if they had been originally in the Bill. I protest against the complaint of the Chief Secretary that there is anything unreasonable in our conduct in asking for an explanation, and also taking advantage of opportunity for discussion.


It was the Division that I commented upon.


If I had known that I should have drawn attention to the fact that the Chief Secretary was debating matter which was not before the Committee and was clearly out of Order.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed be there inserted."


moved, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "caused" ["has caused the Commission or Board "] to insert the words "or directed."

This may be an extension of the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman, but I think it is a very small extension. I thank him for putting the Amendment on the Paper. The reason I am interested in the matter is that I had on the Paper in Committee an Amendment on similar lines to that of the Chief Secretary. I must admit that the proposal of the Chief Secretary goes quite as far as the Amendment I had originally on the Paper, and I am, in a sense, seeking to amend my own Amendment, but I thought on consideration that there was some danger that if you insisted that the direction of the land judge had been carried out in every particular, a very small slip on the part of the solicitor having carriage might exclude both tenants and landlord from the great benefit which the Amendment confers upon them. The right hon. Gentleman, from a technical point of view, has described accurately the proceedings which the Act of Parliament contemplated, but, in fact, the procedure has been somewhat different. The Act of Parliament proposes that the Estates Commissioners should, in the first instance, issue a request, but in fact, so far as I am acquainted with the procedure, the origination of these proceedings took place in the Land Judge's Court. The receiver of the estate brought the matter before the court, got Judge Ross's authority to negotiate with the tenants, practically made the bargain with the tenants, and then brought the matter before Judge Ross. It was only when the matter had reached the stage that a bargain was come to that Judge Ross directed that the section should be put into operation, and that the solicitor having carriage should proceed to get a request issued by the Estates Commissioners. So that practically in every case with which I am acquainted the bargain was practically made at the point of the requisition.

4.0 P.M.

The Chief Secretary has spoken as if the work was actually done by the judge. Of course, that is not so. Even with the greatest care, slips sometimes take place, and I am personally aware of some cases in which so long a period as a year has elapsed between the time when the judge gave the direction and the time when the direction was carried out by the solicitor having carriage. In that case it would be a very hard case if the tenants and landlords lost the benefit which the section conferred upon them, merely because there was some delay in carrying out directions which the judge had actually given, and that is the importance of what I have said as regards the procedure which has actually been adopted, because in all these cases the bargain is made before either Judge Ross or the Commissioners intervene. In the case I have put, though there has been a complete bargain made between the receiver and the tenants, and though Judge Ross has actually sanctioned it, and though the Estates Commissioners have issued the request, if there is still delay on the part of the solicitor having carriage, he will be completely carrying out the instructions given by the judge to comply with the request of the Land Commission, or if there was some slip in supplying all the information required, that particular estate might lose the great benefit which the Chief Secretary has so handsomely agreed to confer in cases of that kind. The only difference between the two cases is this. The Chief Secretary limits the benefits of his Amendment to the case where the request has only to be issued, whereas I propose that the Amendment should have operation if a judge has directed the Commission or Board to be furnished with particulars and documents. I make that proposal having regard to the practice, which, I do not think, the Attorney-General for Ireland would question, that in all these cases, before Judge Ross does anything, before he directs a request to issue, the bargain is actually made. For years, in some of the cases that have come under my notice, the tenants have been paying interest to the receiver in lieu of rent. I ask the Chief Secretary to consider that case. It will only be a slight extension of his own Amendment, and it will actually cover some cases I know of.


I am quite at the end of my tether in this matter. The case which I actually put to the Treasury was the case presented to me. Certainly, it covers the great majority of the cases, and I think it would be an unwise departure to recognise this period of the direction given by the judge. Section 7 of the Act of 1903 makes no such reference. Sub-section (1) says: "The land judge may, at the request of the Land Commission, cause the Commission to be furnished with such particulars and documents as they may require respecting the estate…"

The date in the proceedings which I have taken as the one which will enable persons in get the benefit of the provisions as to the percentage is 24th November, 1908. Bad cases make bad law, and the hon. and learned Member has himself admitted that this is not a question for the land judge. It is a question of delay on the part of the solicitors in working out the Order, and I think it should be left in the way I put it, because the Act of 1903 indicates a distinct stage in the proceedings when the Commissioners may be furnished with particulars and documents. I think to go beyond that would be to go beyond what I can reasonably accept in the matter.


I think if this matter was further investigated, the Chief Secretary would see his way to accept this Amendment. It is a singularly reasonable one. It is to protect the innocent vendor who goes into one of the King's courts for the sale of his property. It is to protect him against a slip in connection with a transaction for which the Revenue exact heavy fees in the shape of Stamp Duties. I agree that the stage which the Chief Secretary's Amendment proposes to take is the right one, because the land judge never directs that these proceedings should be taken unless he has had an exhaustive hearing of all the particulars in regard to the estate. He has received the report of the receiver, and reports as to how far the tenants are willing to buy. He then makes a judicial declaration that it is desirable that the Estates Commissioners should be consulted to see if they are willing to become purchasers. That is what makes the stage important. If that is so, would it not be hard that the vendor should lose the benefit which the Chief Secretary proposes to give in other cases if by some slip in mere machinery the information which the land judge directed to be conveyed to the Estates Commissioners does not reach them? There have been cases where, owing to the voluminous character of their correspondence, the Estates Commissioners have said, "We have not been able to trace this correspondence." Possibly there may be slips in carrying out the machinery of the land judge's court, and if such a slip were to happen the innocent vendor would suffer. I think the Chief Secretary should see that the vendor is protected against miscarriage in the working out of what is really a judicial decision of the land judge that an estate should be sold to the Estates Commissioners. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maurice Healy) put the blame for this on the solicitor who is responsible for the carriage of the information. In some cases the land judge directs his own carriage. The solicitor is appointed by the land judge, and is therefore the legal trustee for that purpose. He is the particular officer of the court entrusted with that work, and if he makes fault it is really the act of the court, and the court will punish him. In that case I say it is very hard that the innocent vendor should suffer. The Attorney-General for Ireland raised a point of Order, and said that this would impose an additional burden on the Treasury. The Chief Secretary rather took the same line, but he gave us no approximation in money of the amount which would be involved by adopting the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Cork. That Amendment is only intended to cover cases of slips. There cannot be so many of them as will make a great difference to the Treasury. It would be a very poor commentary on the way in which business is conducted if it would break the Treasury's back to include these cases. I do not think it would involve more than £2,000. I am not aware of any cases where there have been slips which are pending at the present moment.


We want to get some definite period of time indicated when the land judge is willing to apply to the Estates Commissioners. That is what is done in all judicial proceedings. There should be a definite date indicated when the order of the judge shall take effect. Why should the matter be left to depend on the neglect of a messenger to convey an order, or of a solicitor to carry out a direction, or of somebody who is overworked to find time to do the work the judge has appointed to be done? I do not think the insertion of the words proposed in the Amendment would do any harm.


I think we ought not to waste time on a matter like this. The Government have considered the matter, and made a concession. In the case of the Roe Estate, the vendor went to the House of Lords within the last twelve months, thereby delaying matters for, I should say, over 18 months. The solicitors, having carriage, are occupied in these contests between vendors, and they are not considering the interests of tenants at all. In that case the Wexford tenants were fined an additional year's rent by reason of the delay caused by the contest between the vendors. Is it not rather hard that parties should suffer by the non-acceptance of the words "or directed." At the same time the Government have made a substantial concession, and I do not think we would be warranted in occupying time over the matter. I do think, however, that the Government might consider whether the additional words should be accepted.


In discussing this measure we have so often referred matters to future stages that we hardly ever reach those stages. I think it would be better if this matter could be discussed in the House now. What is the position the Chief Secretary has taken up? It is that in order to introduce the Amendment which stands in his name he has had to approach the Treasury again, and point out to them that some further additional expense may be required if the Amendment is passed into law. He, therefore, feels himself precluded from accepting any Amendment which might have the consequence of leading to greater expenditure of money than the Treasury intended to sanction in giving effect to the Amendment standing in his name. It is almost impossible to believe that the right hon. Gentleman in stating his case to the Treasury put it in such detail as to show that the acceptance of the words "or directed" would make much difference. The intention of the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment is identical with the intention of the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Cork City. I cannot for the life of me believe that whoever was approached at the Treasury said that "You may have so much, but if from some carelessness the direction has not been given, we will not go any further." I do not believe that any discussion of that kind ever took place at the Treasury, and I feel confident that if the Chief Secretary accepted the Amendment he would not be required to try to get more money.


The right hon. Gentleman has referred to an imaginary conversation between myself and the Treasury. That was founded, I suppose, on experience of his own when he held the office of Chief Secretary. The Act of 1903 involves a considerable extra burden under Section 7, Sub-section (1). It provides that the land judge may at the request of the Land Commission cause the Commission to be furnished, and I pointed out that that was a very fair period rather than the period I had put into the Bill. I do not know how many cases would be covered by the insertion of these words, but the matter was placed before me in a very particular and specific manner by those interested in it, and on the information which they gave me I proceeded to obtain the Amendment. Of course, had I adopted the Motion just made I need not have recommitted the Bill at all. But as it is, we have the present concession in the form in which I obtained it from the Treasury, and I really cannot go back to them again asking them to make another change. In the absence of the Treasury representatives I may say I had a delicate task to get the concession at all, but I took my basis on the language of Section 7, Subjection (1). I pointed out that it was after all only when the land judge had made up his own mind that this was a fit and proper

case for purchase he caused the conditions to be furnished, and proceeded to reopen the whole transaction. I do not think that the addition to the Treasury caused by the present proposal would be large, but there would be an addition; and, having come to a bargain with them, the reopening of the transaction and the addition, even of what my hon. Friend (Mr. Moore) describes as a few thousands, would touch on a matter of principle with the Treasury, and I cannot ask them to alter the bargain, made. I am always- willing to apply the principle Between the mast head and the ground He mercy sought and mercy found. But, anxious as I am to arrive at a satisfactory termination of this controversy, I cannot do what is asked.


I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Birrell) for the concession he has made, and I only put down this Amendment because I thought that when the full facts were before the right hon. Gentleman and the Treasury, they would not hesitate to make this small extension. I had in mind a particular case in which the solicitors having carriage furnished to the Estates Commissioners a plain copy of the document when they should have furnished an attested copy. The error was not discovered by the Estates Commissioners for six months afterwards, but the six months unfortunately formed the crucial date, and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would not like it to happen that an insignificant slip of that kind should produce the very serious and severe consequences which would follow from it if there was no Amendment. But the right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to make a concession, and, therefore, I would ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Leave withheld.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 52; Noes, 183.

Heaton, John Henniker Magnus, Sir Philip Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Joynson-Hicks, William Morpeth, Viscount Valentia, Viscount
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Peel, Hon. W. R. W. Younger, George
Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Percy, Earl
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
M'Arthur, Charles Stanier, Beville Moore and Mr. Gordon.
M'Calmont, Colonel James Stone, Sir Benjamin
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Gilhooly, James O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Acland, Francis Dyke Gill, A. H. O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Alden, Percy Ginnell, L. O'Dowd, John
Ambrose, Robert Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Glendinning, R. G. O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Glover, Thomas O'Malley, William
Barker, Sir John Gulland, John W. O'Shee, James John
Barnard, E. B. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Parker, James (Halifax)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Harrington, Timothy Partington, Oswald
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hart-Davies, T. Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Beck, A. Cecil Healy, Timothy Michael Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Bellairs, Carlyon Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pointer, J
Berridge, T. H. D. Higham, John Sharp Power, Patrick Joseph
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Hogan, Michael Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Black, Arthur W. Hooper, A. G. Raphael, Herbert H.
Boland, John Hope, John Deans (Fie, West) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Bowerman, C. W. Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Reddy, M.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Horniman, Emslie John Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Bryce. J. Annan Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Jones, Leif (Appleby) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Robson. Sir William Snowdon
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Joyce, Michael Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Kavanagh, Walter M. Roe, Sir Thomas
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Kekewich, Sir George Rose, Sir Charles Day
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Kennedy, Vincent Paul Rowlands, J.
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Kilbride, Denis Rutherford, V. H. Brentford
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Laidlaw, Robert Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Clancy, John Joseph Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Scanlan, Thomas
Clough, William Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis Seely, Colonel
Clynes, J. R Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Shackleton, David James
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lewis, John Herbert Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Sheehy, David
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lundon, T. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Lynch, A. (Clare, W.) Snowden, P.
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Crosfield, A. H. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Strachey, Sir Edward
Cullinan, J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Strauss, B. S. (Mile End)
Curran, Peter Francis MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Summerbell, T.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) M'Kean, John Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Delany, William M'Micking, Major G. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Mallet, Charles E. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Marnham, F. J. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Dillon, John Massie, J. Verney, F. W.
Dobson, Thomas W. Masterman, C. F. G. Walsh, Stephen
Duffy, William J. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Watt, Henry A.
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Menzies, Sir Waiter White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Erskine, David C. Middlebrook, William White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Essex, R. W. Mooney, J. J. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Esslemont, George Birnie Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Evans, Sir S. T. Morrell, Philip Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Everett, R. Lacey Muldoon, John Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Faber, G. H. (Boston) Murnaghan, George Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Falconer, J. Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Farrell, James Patrick Myer, Horatio Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Fenwick, Charles Nannetti, Joseph P. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Ferguson, R. C. Munro Nicholls, George Young, Samuel
Ffrench, Peter Nussey, Sir Willans
Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Captain
Fullerton, Hugh O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Norton and Mr. Fuller.

Amendment proposed to insert after paragraph (6):—

"(c) The land judge in the course of proceedings in which the estate or land is eventually sold to the Land Commission under Section seven, or to the Congested Districts Board under Section seventy-seven of the Act of 1903, has caused the Commission or Board to be furnished with particulars and documents respecting the estate or land in pursuance of either of these sections; or."

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Question proposed:"That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


I do not know whether this is the stage at which to take anything that would be in order under Clause 5?


The Bill has been recommitted on certain Amendments.


May I state my point of order: that we are now, in respect of Clause 5, in the Committee stage, that one process in the Committee stage is that the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill, and that upon that Motion in the Committee stage it is possible to make remarks which are in order on that Clause. I further submit, as part of my point of order, that there is nothing in the particular Resolution which deprives the Committee of that right inherent to the Committee, because on the Report stage, to give an example, the question that the Clause stand part gives the opportunity, unless, indeed, the hour has been reached which is stated in the table. But as things are I think this is a legitimate and, perhaps, the only opportunity of discussing these matters.


The right hon. Gentleman may proceed. It was recommitted in respect of the Amendment, and the Amendment having been put in might have affected the Clause.


I think I understand the relation of Clause 5 to the Amendments, but I wish to clear up two points, and I ask the Chief Secretary whether I am right in holding that Clause as now amended deals with the new bonus, and that future agreements in respect of bonus under this Clause from 24th November, namely, in respect of the interest paid by the tenant and the right of the landlord to refuse stock and take cash will date, not from 24th November last, but, under the Amendments which the right hon. Gentleman will carry, after 15th September of this year. Have I made that point clear? In this Clause as amended it is laid down that the scale of bonus in the Schedule shall attach to all agreements entered upon after 24th November last, and will he define what "being entered upon" means? But in respect of all the other elements obtained, namely, the payment of 3½ per cent. interest and 3¼ per cent. by the tenant, and in respect of the landlord's right to refuse stock and pay cash, then the future agreement will date from 15th September, so that this Clause settles the bonus in respect to future agreements from 24th November last—


The right hon. Gentleman is now, as far as I am aware, debating the whole Clause, and I wish to ask whether we are to understand that we are at liberty to take the Clause at large without any reference to the Amendments made?


The question before the Committee is that the Clause as amended stand part. The Clause as a whole may therefore be discussed on the question that the Clause as amended stand part.


The right hon. Gentleman was not debating the relation of the Clause to the Amendments. He was debating the general scope of the Clause—a very wide scope—by far the greater proportion of which has no relation whatever.


I do not think it would be possible to limit the discussion in that way.


So I understood your original ruling, Sir; but, for my part, I am not going to make a speech about the general policy of this Clause, though I should be within my rights in so doing; but I am not exercising that right, and I confine myself to asking two questions. The other point is in respect to the general policy of this Clause. I wish to ask the Government whether, in their new policy embodied in this Clause for a new bonus, they have considered the case, and I believe such cases are very numerous, in which in first term rents and second term rents abatements are made, more numerously in the case of first term rents. I see no symptom in the original bonus or in the revised bonus that the Government have had their attention directed to the case of first term rents on which it has been customary year in and year out for the landlords to give abatements. I wish to know whether the Government has considered this case; I think they will have to consider it, because they have adopted instead of the form of bonus the bonus upon a sliding scale, based on a number of years' purchase in the case of first term rents; and in the case of the second term rents it is clear that in some cases the landlord might take twenty-two years' purchase, when the rent, as a matter of fact, has been paid for ten or fifteen years, and under the bonus scheme of the Government he would only be getting a far less number of years' purchase, and, therefore, will be entitled to a far higher bonus. That is only illustrative of one of the difficulties in which we are landed when you depart from the uniform bonus which is at present the law. The Government in this Clause tried to meet some of the objections, but, as far as I can see, they have never considered these points, and I wish to know whether they are prepared to consider them.


It is rather unfortunate that the whole question of the bonus was not dealt with in a whole-hearted way, instead of by piecemeal. Under the Act of 1903 sales could be carried out in two ways, and the alternatives were to be absolutely equal, whichever the landlord took. He could either sell his estate to the Commissioners, or make his own agreement with his tenant. Why should one of these methods be given an undue advantage over the other? Why should a man be penalised because he chooses voluntarily to sell to his own tenants, as against the man who has sold to the Estates Commissioners? But that is what this Clause is doing. A man who has agreed with his own tenant after 24th September, 1908, loses the bonus, but if the same man chooses to sell his estate direct to the Commissioners, which is not a bit more legal or more permissible than the other method in that case, he is to get a bonus. What is the reason for that discrimination? Why should a man be entitled to a bonus who sells direct to the Commissioners any more than if he elected to sell to his tenants? We have never bad this Clause debated in the House. A voluntary sale is to be penalised, and all these other exceptions which are put into this Clause—sales direct to the Estate Commissioners, sales which the Commissioners demand, sales to the Congested Districts Board, sales to the land judge's court—are all to be allowed the old bonus, whereas the only person who is penalised, the person whom we should have thought the Government would have encouraged if they are in earnest to see land purchase carried out harmoniously, is the landlord who has voluntarily agreed with his tenants up to 24th November, 1908, I want to know whether that is intended to be the policy of this Clause; if so, I think the Committee would like to know what are the grounds for the distinction if the Government wish to see land purchase carried out on the voluntary principle. I think the Chief Secretary ought to explain why this class in Ireland are omitted from the benefit of this Section.


The Chief Secretary has recommitted this Bill entirely at the request of hon. Members above the Gangway. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] Yes, for the purpose of making large concessions, yet the hon. Members divided on an Amendment. The recommittal of the Bill has been made the occasion of a long and discursive discussion which cannot lead to anything, because it is out of order to move any Amendment or to raise any further issue on the Clause, and this discussion can have no other object than to waste the time of the House.


It really does seem to me to be putting a great difficulty in the way of the Minister in charge of the Bill to have such a discussion when he seeks to make concessions, especially when one knows, as the hon. Member for Mayo pointed out, that no practical result can be achieved, because Amendments cannot be moved. Why cannot hon. Members treat the Amendments which are on the Paper by themselves, every one of them? After the Clause has been amended in that way, then, when Mr. Speaker is in the Chair, you resume your seizin of the Bill, and you can discuss it Clause by Clause. Of course, everybody understands the motive of the prolongation of the Debate at this point, when it is perfectly useless. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover put to me two questions, one of which I answered by a nod of my head, which supplied him with the information which he honestly required, and the other point I am quite prepared to deal with. Hon. Members cannot, under the forms of the House, do more than ask those questions, and they cannot in any way move Amendments as they would be enabled to do if they would only allow me to proceed with the Amendments on the Paper, every one of which is admitted to be of importance, and every one of which has been framed with a view to extend the benefits of the bonus and other matters to persons who would otherwise be cut out. I have obtained these conces- sions by sweat and blood, and yet they are made the opportunity for a long discussion, simply and solely for a purpose which for is not necessary for me to describe. With regard to the question of the right hon. Gentleman, I think he will find that under the Schedule the higher the nominal rent the better it will be for the landlord. The fact that abatements take place with regard to landlords and tenants does not affect the question when you consider the number of years' purchase which will be calculated on first or second term rents. I do not think it will be found that the Schedule is open to the view taken of it by the right hon. Gentleman.


I do not complain of the answer the right hon. Gentleman has given to me in reply to my question, but he seems to have forgotten that, owing to the action of the Government of which he is a Member, we do not enjoy the ordinary opportunity of discussing these matters. If the proper moment to consider these questions is on the Report of Clause 5, will he undertake to say when we shall reach that Clause? I do not believe we shall have a discussion upon it.


You can reach it if you like.


I had a perfect right to express my view at this stage on the general policy of the Clause, but I did not

Division No. 662.] AYES. [4.45 p.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Cawley, Sir Frederick Farrell, James Patrick
Acland, Francis Dyke Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Fenwick, Charles
Alden, Percy Clancy, John Joseph Ffrench, Peter
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Clough, William Flynn, James Christopher
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Clynes, J. R. Fullerton, Hugh
Ambrose, Robert Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gibb, James (Harrow)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Gilhooly, James
Barker, Sir John Condon, Thomas Joseph Gill, A. H.
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Ginnell, L.
Barnard, E. B. Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John
Barran, Rowland Hirst Crosfield, A. H. Glendinning, R. G.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Cullinan, J. Glover, Thomas
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Curran, Peter Francis Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Beck, A. Cecil Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Gulland, John W.
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Deleny, William Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Harrington, Timothy
Blank, Arthur W. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Hart-Davies, T.
Boland, John Dillon, John Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Bowerman, C. W. Dobson, Thomas W. Haworth, Arthur A.
Bright, J. A. Duffy, William J. Healy, Maurice (Cork)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Healy, Timothy Michael
Bryce, J. Annan Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Helme, Norval Watson
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Elibank, Master of Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Burke, E. Haviland- Erskine, David C. Higham, John Sharp
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Essex, R. W. Hogan, Michael
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Esslemont, George Birnie Hooper, A. G.
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Evans, Sir S. T. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Everett, R. Lacey Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Faber, G. H. (Boston) Horniman, Emslie John

exercise that right, and I confined myself to putting two questions of a perfectly pertinent character, and I took the only opportunity which may be available to me or any other Member to put those questions. The hon. Member for Mayo, who is used to dictating to the Government, thinks he can also dictate to us what course we shall pursue, but he must allow us to be the judges of the way in which we shall exercise our privileges. In the reply which the Chief Secretary made to my second question, he seems to think I have in mind only the interests of a particular landlord. That is not so. I wish him even now, if it be not too late, to reflect on the many inconveniences which attach to the method of bonus which he has adopted, and which he lays down under Clause 5. It is quite true that if a landlord enters into a bargain by which there is only 14 years' purchase he will get the bonus calculated on the higher scale. I quite agree.

How does the Chief Secretary defend the case of the man who has had a second term rent of £7, and in cases which are identically similar is one man to get 6 per cent. bonus, and the other man 12 per cent? That is the result of the Schedule, and only shows the folly of drawing up such a scheme, and the greater folly of trying to force it through the House of Commons under such a Resolution.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 191; Noes, 46.

Hutton, Alfred Eddison Murnaghan, George Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Scanlan, Thomas
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Myer, Horatio Seely, Colonel
Joyce, Michael Nannetti, Joseph P. Shackleton, David James
Kavanagh, Walter M. Nicholls, George Shaw, Sir Charles E. (Stafford)
Kekewich, Sir George Nolan, Joseph Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Kennedy, Vincent Paul Nussey, Sir Willans Sheehy, David
Kilbride, Denis O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Snowdon, P.
Laidlaw, Robert O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Stanley, Hon. A. Lyulph (Cheshire)
Lamont, Norman O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Lardner, James Carrige Rushe O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, West) Strachey, Sir Edward
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) O'Dowd, John Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Summerbell, T.
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Lewis, John Herbert O'Malley, William Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Lundon, T. O'Shee, James John Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Lupton, Arnold Parker, James (Halifax) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Lynch, A. (Clare, W.) Partington, Oswald Thorne, William (West Ham)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Walsh, Stephen
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Philips, John (Longford, S.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Watt, Henry A.
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Pointer, J. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
M'Kean, John Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
M'Micking, Major G. Power, Patrick Joseph White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Mallet, Charles E. Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Marnham, F. J. Raphael, Herbert H. Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Massie, J. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Reddy, M. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Menzies, Sir Walter Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Middlebrook, William Robson, Sir William Snowdon Young, Samuel
Molteno, Percy Alport Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Mooney, J. J. Roe, Sir Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Captain
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Rowlands, J. Norton and Mr. Fuller.
Muldoon, John Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Craik, Sir Henry Moore, William
Anson, Sir William Reynell Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Percy, Earl
Balcarres, Lord Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan) Renton, Leslie
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fell, Arthur Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Fletcher, J. S. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Gordon, J. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hamilton, Marquess of Stanier, Beville
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Carlile, E. Hildred Joynson-Hicks, William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Clark, George Smith Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Dublin, S.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Clive Percy Archer Lonsdale, John Brownlee Younger, George
Corbett, T L. (Down, North) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Courthope, G. Loyd M'Arthur, Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) M'Calmont, Colonel James Valentia and Mr. H. W. Forster.
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)