The Marquess of Salisbury
took the liberty of asking a question of the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies. He had understood, that the consenting to the second reading of the Tenants' Compensation Bill would not bind any noble Lord to assent to the compulsory clauses. He wished to ask if such was a correct understanding.
said, he understood the question to be, whether by consenting to the second reading of the Bill his noble Friend was committed to the compulsory clauses. He had no hesitation in saying, that he did not consider any noble Lord 1116 to be so committed. He was quite prepared to say, that the only extent to which any noble Lord was committed by agreeing to the second reading was, that it was expedient to secure, by legislative enactment, to the tenants of Ireland compensation for such improvements of a permanent character, adding to the permanent value of the fee of the estate, as they should effect on the land, supposing they should be ejected therefrom before they had derived any return from the outlay. Whether the landlords should have the power of interposing a veto, and of preventing such improvements, was a question entirely open to the House to consider in Committee; and no noble Lord would be pledged by agreeing to the second reading of the Bill, but was at perfect liberty to reject the measure when before their Lordships.
The Marquess of Londonderry
Am I to understand there is to be a legislative interference between landlord and tenant?
The Marquess of Clanricarde
I should like to know what are the voluntary and what the compulsory clauses?
It was very difficult to answer so many questions put at the same time. He had endeavoured to state distinctly that no Peer would be pledged to the compulsory clauses of this Bill by assenting to the second reading: and what he understood his noble Friend to mean by compulsory clauses were those which gave the Commissioners in Dublin the power of directing certain improvements, even though the landlord should object to them.