§ Order of the Day for the Third Heading read.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a
THE MARQUESS OF WESTMEATH
said, that he should be neglecting his duty if he did not enter his solemn protest against the Bill being read the third time. He regarded it as an unprincipled interference with the rights of private property. The preamble of this Bill set out with an untruth, because it stated that it was expedient to create facilities for the improvement of landed property in Ireland. It was not expedient to do by legislation what the persons interested in land were perfectly willing and competent to do for themselves. The measure was intended for the coercion of Irish landlords, who had done their best to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the produce of the soil. They had encouraged the formation of societies to promote what the Bill designated "good husbandry," but priestly influence had been employed to defeat their efforts; and the tenants had been counselled to withhold their co-ope- 934 ration, on the ground that those institutions were only designed to increase rents. If an indifference to a proper system of cultivation existed in Ireland the fault did not lie with the landlords. One objection to this Bill was, that it did not define what was meant by "good husbandry." The measure had been brought forward at the suggestion of a party that would never be quiet as long as its unjust demands were listened to. Nothing could be more barbarous than the method of culture still pursued in Connaught, where the people began by burning the land, and were afterwards obliged to use enormous mallets for pulverizing the ground. All the disputes and murders occurring in that part of the country might be traced to the fact that the land was not properly divided, but was all held in common. The noble Marquess concluded by repeating his solemn protest against the iniquitous provisions of the Bill.
considered the Bill uncalled for in every sense of the word. It was a most uunecessary intervention between landlord and tenant, and it was his conviction that if acted on to any extent it would be productive of the worst possible feeling between the parties. The Bill would not promote the progress of improvement in landed estates in Ireland, but would place the landlord in the position of being compelled to negative improvements, and thence would cause matters to be sent to the law courts and for decision by incompetent tribunals. He believed the largest landed proprietors were against the measure, and he should not be doing his duty as a representative Peer if he did not express his conviction of its unsoundness and uncalled-for character, against which, in common with the noble Marquess, he must enter his protest.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read 3a accordingly with the Amendments.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
proposed a clause requiring that houses to be built under the Act should be constructed of stone or brick and well-seasoned timber, covered with slate, &c.
§ EAKL GRANVILLE
thought it undesirable to introduce such specifications in a permanent Act of Parliament. It would be quite enough to enact that the houses should be "well and substantially built."
§ After a few words from the Earl of DONOUGHMORE,
§ Clause added.
§ Bill passed and sent to the Commons.