HL Deb 31 July 1848 vol 100 cc1016-9

The MARQUESS of CLANRICARDE moved the Order of the Day for considering the Commons' reasons for disagreeing to the Lords' Amendments to this Bill, He did not wish to trouble their Lordships with any remarks in submitting the sufficiency of the reasons assigned by the other House of Parliament for the course that they had taken, because it might be necessary for him at a future period to reply to any objections that might be urged to the course which he recommended. The principal point to be considered was, whether it were better to give notice to the relieving officers forty-eight hours before, or twelve hours after the ejectment took place. The other House of Parliament, without a division, and, he believed, unanimously, rejected the Amendment that had been made by their Lordships for not giving the notice until after the eviction took place; and be hoped that, under the circumstances, their Lordships would not persist in their former view; but that they would agree to what might be considered as the unanimous wish of the other House on the matter.


said, that the proposition advanced by his noble Friend, that an Amendment which bad been agreed to by their Lordships after two nights' discussion, and which had been rejected by the Commons without any discussion at all, should now therefore be abandoned, seemed to him to be extremely objectionable. Before proceeding to notice the Amendment in question, he begged to say, that it was satisfactory to know that all the Amendments he had taken the liberty of moving on a former occasion had been adopted by the Commons, with the exception of this one; and the effect of rejecting this one, according to the judgment of Persons well qualified to judge, would be to render the Bill less efficient for its professed purpose than it otherwise would have been. The Bill as originally framed, and as now returned to their Lordships, contained a provision which nothing but his great respect for the House of Commons prevented him from calling the most preposterous that had ever been adopted by a deliberative assembly, namely, that for the purpose of knowing who the persons were that were likely to require relief in consequence of ejectments, the parties ejecting should furnish the relieving officer, not with the names of the persons ejected, but with the names merely of the land from which they were ejected. They required that this Information should be given forty-eight hours before the ejectment took place. On the other hand, the House of Lords required that the names of the parties ejected should be furnished within twelve hours after the ejectment; and he was willing to join issue with his noble Friend who had charge of the Bill (the Marquess of Clanricarde), as to which of the plans was best calculated to give practical relief. He contended now, as he bad contended before, that the proposition adopted by their Lordships was the one most likely to give practical relief; and that the one requiring the names of the lands to be furnished, would be quite inoperative as regarded the real purpose of the framers of the Bill.


said, the real question before them was, whether the notice to the relieving officer should be given forty-eight hours before the ejectment, or within twelve hours after it. Admitting that giving the names of the parties would be better than giving the names of the lands, he still maintained that the idea of giving that information twelve hours after the ejectment to a relieving officer, perhaps twenty or thirty miles distant, with a view to his providing relief for those parties, was utterly absurd. He wished to know how the relieving officer could, at a moment's notice, find conveyances to bring the parties to town, or Provide shelter for them where they were? He wished to know how he could in any way properly assist them, unless he were able to make arrangements beforehand? It might be said, that under this clause parties would be compelled to give notice where no ejectment, after all, took place; and why? Because it had been proved in evidence that many landlords and middlemen were in the habit of collecting their rents under a threat of ejectment; but this was a state of things which ought to be put an end to. That was not a relation in which a landlord and tenant should stand to each other. He thought it would be wise and prudent on the part of their Lordships not to insist upon their Amendment, seeing that it had been unanimously rejected by the representatives of the ratepayers, and by the Irish proprietors in the other House.


said, he thought that the question had not been quite fairly put by his noble Friend who had just sat down. The exact question he believed to be this—whether it was not better for the evicted tenant that the relieving officer should receive the names of the persons dispossessed, and all particulars regarding them twelve hours after the writ was executed, than that the relieving officer should, forty-eight hours before the process took place, receive information merely that such a proceeding would occur on certain lands. He thought that the evicted tenant would be more likely to receive speedy relief in the former case than in the latter; and that the other House of Parliament had made a great mistake in not adopting their Lordships' views.


could not concur in the opinion expressed by his noble Friend that the arrangement proposed by their Lordships would be more for the advantage of the evicted tenant than the proposition of the other House of Parliament. The interests both of the ratepayers and of the destitute persons themselves, rendered it advisable that notice should be given beforehand to the relieving officer, in order that he might have an opportunity of attending, and ascertaining on the spot the wants and condition of the parties.


said, that as he expected the whole question of the Irish poor-law would be brought under their Lordships' consideration next Session, and as they would then have an opportunity of reconsidering this question, he would not at present divide the House upon it.

Amendments disagreed to by the Commons not insisted upon.

Commons' Amendments agreed to.