HL Deb 24 June 1870 vol 202 cc859-92

Clauses 1 to 12—Claim to Compensation.

Clause 3 (Compensation in absence of custom) again read.

Amendment again proposed, line 24, after ("section") insert— ("And in case of any assignment of a tenancy, the assignee shall not be entitled to any compensation under this section unless and until he shall have been accepted as a tenant by the landlord: provided that a devolution under a will or upon an intestacy or marriage shall not be deemed an assignment under this section".)—(The Duke of Richmond.)


said, that in accordance with what he had stated at the close of the Committee on Thursday, he now placed upon the Table the clause he had proposed in substitution for the Amendment of the noble Duke; and which was as follows:—

After clause 11. insert the following clause:—

(Partial exemption in cases of assignment.) Where a holding in respect of which compensation under section 3. of this Act is claimed was held by any tenant under a tenancy existing at the time of the passing of this Act, and such holding shall be assigned without the consent of the landlord, no compensation shall be payable by the landlord in the cases following, or any of them; that is to say,

  1. 1. "Where the rent of such holding at the time of such assignment was in arrear, and the same was due by the tenant:
  2. 2. "Where such holding forms part of an estate upon which the assignment of holdings without the consent of the landlord is contrary to the practice prevalent upon such estate:
  3. 3. "Where the person claiming such compensation fails to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that he was a fit and proper person to be accepted as the tenant of such holding by the landlord; provided always, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any assignment by operation of law."


said, that it would be convenient to discuss this new clause simultaneously with his Amendment, because if the latter were carried the whole question would be determined.


concurred in this suggestion. As he stated the previous evening, he should have been willing to accept a part of the noble Duke's Amendment, or of the Amendment of which a noble Earl (the Earl of Lichfield) had given Notice, so far as related to this point; but he found that many noble Lords acquainted with the subject preferred the new clause which he had placed on the Paper.


said, that he might, perhaps, be permitted to state the views he entertained of the clause proposed by the noble Earl. The clause was divided into three parts. The first proposed to exclude compensation for eviction in cases where the rent of the holding at the time of the assignment was in arrear, and was due by the tenant. This seemed fair and reasonable. The second part excluded compensation in cases where the holding formed part of an estate on which the assignment of holdings without the landlord's consent was contrary to the practice prevalent on that estate. Now there were, no doubt, estates where such a state of things existed; but the defect of the Proviso was this—that there were other estates where the landlord had laid down no such rule, being content with the right of giving notice to quit at the end of the year, whereby they could get rid of an objectionable assignee. The noble Earl's proposal would make the landlords of such estates liable to the payment of compensation if they evicted tenants who had been forced on them without their consent. The third part of the clause provided that compensation should be excluded if the claimant failed to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that he was a fit and proper person to be accepted as the tenant. Now, he contended that no Court ever constituted could decide whether a person was a fit and proper person to become a tenant. He could conceive many cases in which the assignee might be a very immoral man, and very objectionable as a tenant; but it was a very different thing to go into Court and prove the fact. Many of their Lordships had probably refused offers to take farms in cases where they would be extremely puzzled to assign reasons in a Court of Justice for such refusal. General statements would be insufficient, as the Court would be bound to decide by the strict rules of evidence. For these reasons, he adhered to the opinion that the words of his Amendment were preferable to those of the noble Earl's clause. This was a point of great importance, for while compensating the tenant for capricious eviction, Parliament should take care not to be unjust to the landlords by granting such compensation to tenants forced on them without their consent.


thought it important to give landlords the power of preventing assignments of tenancies to improper persons. The noble Duke's Amendment, however, would give them an absolute veto, which might be very capriciously exercised, and thereby lead to great injustice, and against which there was no appeal. A landlord might arbitrarily refuse to allow an assignment by a man unable any longer to manage the farm properly to his son or nephew, which would be a great hardship. His decision should, therefore, be revised by an impartial authority. The clause of the noble Earl (Earl Granville) would not accomplish the object in view so well as the Amendment which had been given Notice of by the noble Earl behind him (the Earl of Lichfield). The latter provided that compensation for eviction should not be given to a tenant who, after the passing of the Act, assigned his holding without the written consent of the landlord, unless the Court, on the application of the tenant prior to the proposed assignment, should determine that the consent was unreasonably withheld. This, he thought, was the best way of meeting the case.


remarked, that the noble Earl (Earl Grey) would give somebody else a veto on the landlord's veto. He objected to putting the landlord into Court on such an occasion. The only control which the landlord desired to have—that of approving the assignee—was most reasonable; and the claim of the tenant to assign his holding without his landlord's consent most unreasonable. One of the largest land agents in England had shown him an ordinary tenant's agreement in the Midland Counties, which imposed an additional rent of £10 an acre on land assigned or underlet without the written consent of the landlord or agent. This was done in a case where the landlord could get rid of the tenant at six months' notice. It appeared to him that it would be far better to reject all these wordy Amendments, and adopt the clear and simple Amendment of which the noble Earl (the Earl of Leitrim) had given Notice.


pointed out that on estates of 4,000 or 5,000 holdings, with absentee landlords, it had been impossible always to prevent assignments; so that, unless the landlord's right to refuse an assignment were distinctly declared by the Bill, these cases would be brought before the Court in proof that assignments had been allowed by the custom of the estate. He had wished to propose an Amendment distinctly recognizing the landlord's right of refusal; but this was, to a great extent, effected by the Amendment of the noble Duke.


said, that when the second reading of the Bill was under consideration, it was distinctly stated by the noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville) that one of its principal objects was to compel bad landlords to do that, which was done voluntarily by good landlords. Now, a good landlord compensated a tenant whom he was obliged by circumstances to evict; but he had never heard of his compensating an assignee forced upon him against his con- sent, or even without being consulted in the matter. Irish landlords acceded to the principle of compensation for improvements and for capricious eviction; but they ought not to be made to compensate persons who had become their servants without their consent. The original tenant would, of course, have received money from the assignee, if a stranger. The Amendment would not keep the assignee in a state of uncertainty, for his acceptance would be promptly shown by the landlord receiving the rent from him; and, in case of the landlord's refusal to recognize the assignment, the assignee would immediately become aware of the precariousness of his position. He did not think any real damage would be done to the tenant if the Amendment proposed by the noble Duke were adopted.


said, that looking at the matter from the view of noble Lords on the Opposition side, he did not see what reasonable cause they had for refusing to accept the proposal of his noble Friend the Secretary for the Colonies. The just claims of the landlord would be satisfied, and the tenant would be guarded against the injustice which might be done him if the Amendment of the noble Duke were adopted. One of the great objects of this Bill was to give to the tenant who had not a lease the protection which a lease would afford him.


said, the reasons urged by the noble Lord were conclusive in favour of the Amendment of the noble Duke, because he stated that one of the objects of the measure was to give tenants who had not leases the protection which they would have were they lessees. He would ask the noble Lord whether he had ever heard of a case of an assignment without the landlord's approval where a lease had been granted?


said, it was admitted that by the existing law the tenant in Ireland had power to assign without the consent of the landlord, though that power was not very generally exercised in consequence of the landlord being able to give the tenant notice to quit. It was quite true that in England assignment without consent put an end to a lease; but their Lordships were dealing with exceptional circumstances. The exceptional state of Ireland justified exceptional legislation. This was an exceptional measure, and it was better for the landlords of Ireland to make some sacrifice. It was cheaper to make compensation than be shot. He thought a satisfactory arrangement might be come to by adopting in part the proposition of his noble Friend (Earl Granville), and taking that portion of the Amendment of the noble Earl behind him (the Earl of Lichfield), which declared that— A tenant of a holding assigning the same after the passing of this Act, without the consent of the landlord in writing, shall not be entitled to compensation under this section unless the Court shall, on the application of the tenant made before the assignment, determine that such consent is unreasonably withheld.


said, the progress of the debate was very satisfactory, because the further they proceeded the more clearly they understood the real principle on which this measure was based. Their Lordships had heard many dark utterances from the Treasury Bench; but the noble Lord who sat behind that Bench (Viscount Halifax), and who was free from Ministerial responsibilities, had told them the true ground on which this clause should be agreed to—namely, that it was cheaper to pay compensation than be shot. He did not suppose that such a reason for the adoption of a proposition had ever before been presented to a free Legislature; but their Lordships might depend on it that if it succeeded now this was not the last time it would be urged. Tenants were now told that the way to get concessions from their landlords was to make them understand that if they did not yield they would be shot. He observed throughout this Bill that whenever a custom told in favour of the tenant it was adopted, and that whenever it told in favour of the landlord it was altogether abandoned. Starting with the Ulster custom, which they wished to apply to all Ireland, they proposed to depart from one of its most essential points, and that almost the only point, where the custom was favourable to the landlord; for under the Ulster custom the landlord had always a veto on the assignment of the outgoing tenant to the in-comer. The Prime Minister, in his eloquent speech introducing that Bill "elsewhere," referred to a social question of the very highest importance. He spoke of what might be called the unemployed rich—of that large and growing class of persons who enjoyed property without undertaking any of the duties or obligations arising from it, and of the social and moral evils thereby occasioned; and on that ground he refused, and rightly refused, to entertain the question of fixity of tenure. But were they not now doing that very thing in another form? If they permitted the tenant to assign, were they not doing all in their power to deprive the landlord of the management of his estate? Was the landlord not to have the power of deciding who was to be the tenant on his estate? That was the only weapon that he had left to him; and if they took it away from him he would have no means of controlling those who lived upon his land, and for whom he was morally responsible; and he would have every temptation to fall into the class of the unemployed rich, to become an absentee, and draw his income as a mere rent-charger, throwing off all the responsibilities connected with the possession of land. That was a far larger question than one of mere money; it was one really determining the position which a great class had heretofore held in the social fabric of Ireland. If they assented to the opinion that it was better for the landlord to pay than to be shot, they would uphold a doctrine not known among civilized nations.


said, the noble Marquess who had just spoken had one great merit. In the heat of debate disagreeable things were often said, and said with great diffuseness; but if the noble Marquess had anything disagreeable to say he always condensed it into the most epigrammatic form. It would not promote the good temper with which they ought to apply themselves to the business before them for him then to enter into the general question whether the Government had shown unfairness to one class and favour to another, or whether they had not, as he maintained, acted with an honest and sincere desire to do what was fair to both landlord and tenant. The accusation against them came at a most inopportune moment with regard to the proposition which he had now made. There was little doubt that under the Ulster custom the landlord had a veto on assignment; but it was also consistent with that custom that the landlords could not go on unreasonably objecting. As the Bill stood, he thought it did no harm, and he concurred in what had been said by a noble Lord, that the whole difficulty now raised was a bugbear, and would not arise once in 10 years. However, he had come forward—he hoped in a calm and temperate spirit—with an I Amendment which he feared in the House of Commons would be much objected to, and perhaps thought unfair in some respects; and he trusted that the I noble Marquess and his Friends would not infuse bitterness into the further discussion of the matter. His Amendment applied to existing tenants only; whereas the noble Duke's Amendment applied to all future tenants. He hoped their Lordships would not send down the noble Duke's Amendment to the other House, opposed as it was in quarters from which the Government did not usually receive support.


was understood to say that among the various fallacies on which that Bill was founded was the delusion that landlords acted from motives of mere caprice in managing their property, and in objecting to particular persons proposed to them as tenants. Take the case of an habitual drunkard who might claim to succeed to his father's farm. The landlord might be reluctant to state such an objection in a Court of Law, yet he knew very well that he would be an objectionable tenant; again, a man might be proposed who, the landlord knew very well, would be a firebrand on the estate, and an annoyance to all his neighbours. To say that the objections of the landlords to accept such persons as tenants was capricious, was neither reasonable nor true. The Devon Commission had been the means of fostering many of the delusions which prevailed on those subjects. The Commissioners roved all over the country, taking every evidence offered by discontented tenants against their landlords, not given on oath, and published it without comment in their "Report." True, they afterwards offered to receive and publish counter-statements from landlords and their agents; but this did not half remedy the mischief promulgated in their first "Report." Would not the same thing happen in Kent and Sussex if they sent down a Commission that hoard the tenants' side only? One of Mr. O'Connell's principal agitators in the County of Meath once wanted to become a tenant on his property, and he was en- treated not to accept him, as the people on the estate liked to have quiet and good neighbours. It was absurd to deprive the landlord of his right to decide who should be his tenant, if only for the comfort and peace of his other tenants.


supported the Amendment, also contending that the landlord was likely to be the best judge of such a question.


said, that differences frequently occurred between members of tenants' families, which the power of the landlord to in-fere would frequently stop. He would mention a case in illustration. A tenant of his own, who was an old man, wanted his son to succeed him on the farm, while the mother favoured a married daughter. If the power of the father to assign the holding were unlimited, he might transfer it to the son, without consideration for the daughter; or he might be over-persuaded to give it to the daughter, and disinherit the son. He had interposed his power as landlord to put an end to the dissension and ill-will the dispute had created. There was another curious case. A representation had been made to him by the children of a tenant that their father, a widower advanced in years, was about to contract another marriage, and they were afraid that through the influence of the future wife they should be disinherited. He was obliged to use the influence he at present possessed to insist on the father doing an act of justice to his children, and he had every reason to believe that the matter was happily arranged. But if this power of unlimited assignment existed, it would be perfectly impossible for a landlord to interpose with effect. Again, supposing a tenant wished to assign his interest to a Fenian, what was to be done? This was a very possible case, and he had in his eye persons whom he not merely believed, but had good reason for saying were high in authority among the Fenians, to whom such an assignment might be made, and yet he could not produce legal evidence to prove that they were Fenians, nor would it be an easy matter to go before a Court of Justice to do so.


said, he did not wish to interfere with the moral influence of a landlord in settling disputes between his tenants and their relatives; but he could not help thinking that the case alleged would be well met by the Amendment of which he had given Notice. The objection advanced by the noble Lord opposite (Viscount Halifax), that this was exceptional legislation, would apply to almost every clause in the Bill and to the very principle of the Bill. He, for one, had always objected to exceptional legislation being applied in any part of the country to the relations between landlord and tenant. But the object of the Bill, which had been admitted by both sides of the House, was to put a check upon bad landlords, and to prevent capricious eviction. If, therefore, they were prepared to prevent capricious eviction, he did not see why they should not prevent the landlord from capriciously withholding his consent to an arrangement under which his tenant would be able to take advantage of the additional interest they were giving him in his holding under the Bill. It would be therefore impossible for him to vote with the noble Duke opposite, though he could not approve the wording of the Amendment of the noble Earl (Earl Granville). It would be objectionable to draw the distinction which the noble Earl did in his Amendment between those cases in which the landlord had prohibited assignment, and those in which he had not, because up to the present time there was no reason why the landlord should prohibit, for he could right himself by simply giving notice to quit.

On Question, Whether to insert? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 116; Not-Contents 82: Majority 34.

Resolved in the Affirmative.


then moved to omit— With this qualification, that in the case of holdings of twenty-five acres and upwards of tillage land, the letting by a tenant of a portion of land to agricultural labourers bonâ fide required for the cultivation of the holding for cottages or gardens, not exceeding half an acre in each case, and not being in number such as to raise the total of such cottages on the holding to more than one for every twenty-five acres of tillage land, shall not be deemed to be a subdivision or sub-letting of land for the purposes of this section: Provided that no tenant of any holding shall erect any labourer's cottage on his holding without first applying to the landlord or his known agent for liberty so to do; and in case the landlord shall within twelve months from such application erect the cottage at his own expense, the tenant shall not be at liberty to erect a cottage on the said holding. He believed the words he proposed to strike out would not only give rise to subdividing of a very objectionable character, but that the buildings erected would be in many cases of a wretched character, and would greatly interfere with the improvement and good farming of the estate. Nothing could be more right than that proper accommodation should be provided for the labourers on an estate, and it would be one of the first things that a good landlord would turn his attention to; but, as he believed this provision would be attended by more evil than benefit, he begged to move its omission.

Amendment moved, in line 24, leave out from ("with") to ("holding").—(The Duke of Richmond.)


said, he should support the clause as it now stood. It did not apply to labourers' cottages other than those necessary to provide accommodation for them on the holding. There was, at present, great jealousy on the part of landlords in encouraging what they regarded as the erection of an undue number of labourers' cottages on their estates. It should be remembered that a considerable portion of the holdings in Ulster averaged about 22 acres each, and, with the powers conferred on the Court by the Bill, he did not believe that this provision would be attended with any danger of subdivision or subletting.


concurred in the belief that this provision would hold out the temptation to subletting and subdividing, while the cottages which would be erected by the tenant would be frequently of a very inferior character. He had placed upon the Notice Paper an Amendment defining the conditions under which tenants might be at liberty to erect cottages for the labourers bonâ fide required for the cultivation of the holding. These were—first, that there should not be more than one cottage for every 25 acres of tillage land. Second, that the cottage and garden shall not exceed half-an-acre; third, that they must be suitable and such as would be deemed "improvements" within the meaning of the Act; and, fourth, that the tenant shall not erect such cottage if it should appear to the Court that it would be calculated to diminish the general value of the landlord's estate. If the Government would hold out a hope of accepting these Amendments, or of themselves proposing others of a similar kind, he should be satisfied. If not, he felt inclined to vote for the Amendment proposed by the noble Duke.


said, it was undoubtedly true that there were no parts of the Bill which were addressed directly to the condition of the labouring classes; but the Bill would benefit them indirectly, because by the greater confidence given to the occupiers of land they would be enabled to give greater employment to the labourers. The noble Earl opposite had forgotten the operation or exact position of the clause to which he proposed his Amendment. By the Bill certain rights to compensation were given to tenants in cases of eviction, and then the Bill went on to say that these rights should be absolutely forfeited in case of the tenant doing certain things—such as subdividing and subletting. The effect, therefore, of the proposal might be, in the case of a farmer who bonâ fide erected cottages for labourers, to expose him to the risk of absolute forfeiture. This could not fail to discourage the very thing which, on all hands, was admitted to be desirable—the improvement of the dwellings of the labouring poor. The Bill would not allow a man to consider his sons as labourers, and to erect cottages for their accommodation; but it did meet the case of cottages bonâ fide built by the tenant for his workmen. He, therefore, doubted, the expediency of the proposal submitted to their Lordships.


said, that neither in the case of letting in con-acre nor in that of building cottages did the Amendment propose absolute prohibition, but simply proposed to restrain the tenant from doing what amounted to subdividing his farm without first obtaining the landlord's consent. Had any evidence been given to show that Irish landlords as a class, or as individuals, had refused to allow labourers' cottages to be built upon their property when they were required? He did not believe that any evidence of the kind could be given. But it was fair to remember the circumstances of the country, as they were constantly asked by noble Lords opposite to do, upon other matters. The great struggle in Ireland, as everyone knew, was to subdivide and sublet the land, and every evasion that could be resorted to for the purpose of gratifying or sanctioning subdivision was adopted. It almost required a man to assume the attitude of a member of the detective force, adequately to guard against all the attempts made at subdivision and subletting. Suppose a farm of 25 acres, and that the occupier built upon it a cottage for a labourer, and suppose, what was very common in the country, that in lieu of paying him wages he gave him one or two fields to cultivate. If the labourer died leaving a large family, or ceased to cultivate the farm but retained the cottage, how was the landlord to get rid of him? He thought there could be no objection whatever to the proposition that before the cottage was built the landlord's consent should be obtained.


said, that considerable care had been taken in the preparation of the clause to prevent cases of mischief occurring. He would remind their Lordships that this and the con-acre clause were the only two clauses of the Bill that had any direct bearing on the condition of the labouring class in Ireland, and it would be matter for regret if their Lordships rejected them both. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) said there was no evidence that the landlords of Ireland refused their consent either to con-acre when beneficial to their tenants or to the building of labourers' cottages when required for the estate; but the wretched condition of the Irish cottages was well known, and there was no attempt at improvement. Care was taken that cottages should only be built on arable land, and provision was also made against over-subdivision. At the same time, he must remind their Lordships that in Ulster, in Down, and Antrim, a farm of 25 acres was considered a very substantial one, and many tenants on farms of that size lived comfortably and brought up their families industriously and well. That being so, the only question which remained was, whether the houses to be built on these 25 acres were to be good or bad? It was to be remembered that nothing was to be done in a hurry or without distinct notice to the landlord, who might interfere with all the influence which naturally and justly belonged to him. He might himself select a portion of land and build on it such a cottage as he thought proper. The assistance of a sanitary inspector or an officer of the Board of Works might be called in to prevent the possibility of the cottages being of an improper character. He thought, with the precautions which had been taken by the Government, this provision would be found a most salutary one, and he should be very sorry to see it removed; but if their Lordships thought the clause not sufficiently guarded against abuse, it could be made more stringent, but he hoped their Lordships would not reject it.


said, he believed the effect of this clause would be disastrous to the labouring population of Ireland. The noble Earl the Secretary for the Colonies had fallen into an error in supposing that it was the desire of the landlords of Ireland to prevent the building of a sufficient number of labourers' cottages. It was the direct interest of a landlord himself that there should be a sufficient number of labourers' cottages on his estate. No landlord—not even the hypothetical landlord against whom this Bill was directed—could be so foolish as to suppose that without a sufficient number of labourers his estate could be properly farmed. It was the direct interest of a landlord to see to this. It was also his direct duty to take care that these labourers should not be ground down to the dust by the farmers. That was a very difficult task, and it could only be properly done by the consent of the landlord being required, in order that he might see that every labourer that came upon the estate should be properly housed.


said, that as the law now stood if there was an agreement in writing between landlord and tenant that the landlord should keep the houses on his estate in proper repair, he had a summary power of eviction. But he must say the state of the habitations of the labouring class in Ireland was a scandal and a disgrace—they were far worse than in any other country in Europe, and most imperatively called for the attention of the Legislature. Not very long ago he was reading some observations made by a German traveller, who, giving an account of his wanderings over a great part of Europe, said that in no part of the globe he had visited did he ever see anything so scandalous or disgraceful as the habitations of the labouring class in Ireland. He must say he had felt the blush of shame when he thought that a foreigner should be able to make such a statement. He almost wished that this clause—the only one having reference to the position of the Irish labourer—had been left out of the Bill, because he thought the time had come when this question should be dealt with in a comprehensive and thorough manner. There was in existence an Act which authorized advances of public money for the purpose of building labourers' cottages, and under that Act, which would expire next year, much had been done, and still more might have been effected had its provisions been carefully framed. The present time was a particularly opportune one for the Government to take action, because the House was now engaged in considering a measure that was intended to be, and which would be, of great benefit to the tenants, but which did little or nothing for the labourers, who would still be left to dwell in the wretched hovels which were so peculiarly the disgrace of Ireland. At a time when they were giving advantages to the tenants of Ireland—greater, perhaps, than they enjoyed in any other country—they might adopt means for compelling those tenants to make some better provision for the labourers whom they employed on their farms. He should have been glad if the cottier tenants could be brought under the landlord's control; but as that was impossible, the occupying tenants ought to be compelled to provide them with those comforts which they had a right to expect. There was no class of persons in the kingdom who better deserved sympathy and support than the labouring classes of Ireland, and he hoped noble Lords would take up their cause.


said, that he should support the Amendment of the noble Duke. He should be very sorry to be instrumental to the withdrawal of anything from the Bill that was really calculated to improve the condition of the labourers' cottages in Ireland; but he saw nothing in the measure that was in the least degree calculated to secure that object. This section provided no security for the proper requisites in their construction, or for repairs, which were indispensable if the proviso was to be of any real utility. He was deeply sensible of the importance of well lodg- ing the labouring classes, for that must be at the very root of every real attempt to ameliorate their condition, and to raise them in the social scale; but if the building of their cottages were to be at the charge of small and needy farmers, he thought the labourers would not be benefited. Some agricultural societies offered premiums to encourage the building of labourers' cottages, and the result was that in several districts there were to be found buildings which were not only good for the labourers, but also operated indirectly upon the tenants by inducing them to make their own houses respectable. He asked their Lordships to reject the part of the Bill which was under discussion, and to adopt the noble Duke's Amendment; but if not, he trusted that at least a proviso would be added bringing these cottages within the operation of the Cottiers' Tenement Act.


said, he should vote for the Amendment, because he desired to see the labourers better housed, and he did not see how the clause, as it stood, would help them. The Government had gone away from the old principle of political economy, and were trying to force a duty upon the tenants. It would be better to give to the landlords the power of erecting labourers' cottages.


said, he should support the Amendment, because he did not think it desirable that a landlord's estate should be entirely under the control of the tenants.


submitted to their Lordships that the time had come for a Division if the Amendment was to be pressed. All the arguments on the subject had been exhausted, and their Lordships had spent nearly three hours over six lines of the clause. He might just observe that by the terms of the clause the tenant was obliged to give notice to the landlord when he proposed to build labourers' cottages, and in that case the landlord himself might build the cottages if he thought proper. Facilities were given him to borrow money for the purpose. He was ready to consider the question of sanitary arrangements.


also thought they ought to have some security against the undue multiplication of labourers' cottages.

On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause? their Lordships divided:—Contents 89; Not-Contents 138; Majority 49: Resolved in the Negative.

Words struck out.

THE EARL OF LICHFIELD moved, in Clause 3, after line 40, to insert the following separate paragraphs:— A subdivision of the holding by the will of a tenant dying after the passing of this Act shall be deemed a subdivision made after the passing of this Act within the meaning of this section. A partition of a holding by joint tenants or tenants in common shall be deemed a subdivision within the meaning of this section. The object of his Amendment was, as far as possible, to prohibit subdivision, which, under the Bill as it stood, was not sufficiently prevented. At any rate, the clause applied only to subdivision occurring after the passing of the Act. He believed there were many cases where tenants in common held, perhaps, a field here and a field there, scattered all over a townland; and his Amendment was intended to prevent those tenants from making a partition between them without the consent of the landlord. If the Amendment was carried as it stood on the Paper the tenants would still have the power under the Bill of making the partition between them with the consent of the landlord.


said, if a tenant made a will and disposed of his farm among his family it was usual for the agent, as he was informed, to step in and settle the matter by arranging that one of the family should take the farm and make certain payments to the other members of it. He thought it was very desirable that there should be some provision by which the Judge of the Court might be enabled to do the same.

After a short conversation, Amendments negatived.


said, the Bill provided that a tenant holding under a lease made after the passing of this Act and granted for a term certain of not less than 31 years, should not be entitled to any compensation under this section, but might claim under Section 4. Now, in his opinion, 21 years would be a much better term, and he was satisfied it was all that justice required. He would therefore propose that ("31") be left out for the purpose of substituting ("21").

Amendment moved, page 4, line 1, leave out ("thirty-one") and insert ("twenty-one").—(The Duke of Richmond.)


said, as far as he understood the noble Duke's objection, it was that the proposal in the Bill went too far. Now, it was acknowledged that in Ireland a 21 years' lease was not regarded with favour by the Irish tenant; and it was very rare to find such leases in that country, unless connected with lives; or some of very recent date, introduced by persons who had purchased under the Landed Estates Act. It was quite true that a 31 years' lease would enable a landlord to relieve himself of all liability under this section; but that would not prevent him from giving a shorter lease, whether of 7, 14, or 21 years. If a landlord did that, and a tenant claimed under the clause, the landlord had only to point out that he had given such a lease, and it would have a most important effect in the eyes of the Equity Judge in reducing the tenant's claim. He must impress on their Lordships how unwise it would be, if they were to proceed on the principle of paring down the measure.


said, that one of the principal objects of this Bill was to perpetuate a system of exceptional legislation for Ireland, which, in his opinion, had contributed a great deal to the present deplorable state of that country. They were certainly legislating for Ireland in a different way from what they legislated for England and Scotland. Noble Lords opposite might say that it was our duty to legislate exceptionally for an exceptional people under exceptional circumstances; but what, he would ask, was more likely to foster and continue these exceptional circumstances than a continued system of exceptional legislation? Let them look at the state of France, as compared with the United Kingdom. The difference in type, in character, and in race, in different parts of France had formerly been much greater than that which existed in Ireland and this country; but the Code Napoleon welded the whole country together; and now all acknowledged the same allegiance, and gloried in belonging to one common country. But Her Majesty's Government would not allow them to have the same laws for Ireland and this country, but carried this exceptional legislation into every detail of the Bill. Nobody denied that 19 or 21 years' leases in Scotland were regarded as sufficiently remunerative to the tenant; and that being so, it appeared to him almost childish, to oppose this Amendment; for there was nothing in an Irishman, that he could see, that should render it necessary to place him upon a different footing from that which was occupied by a Scotchman; nor any reason why customs which had worked satisfactorily in England and Scotland should, in the case of Ireland, be entirely cast aside.


believed, in opposition to the noble Earl who had just spoken, that the present state of Ireland was due to the fact that we had hitherto legislated too much for that country in the same manner that we had legislated for Scotland and England. He believed, moreover, that if we had adopted that exceptional legislation for Ireland which the noble Earl so much deprecated, Parliament and Her Majesty's Government would have been spared much vexation. He conscientiously believed that the chief cause of the evils with which we had had to contend, arose from the fact that we had not sufficiently considered the difference of circumstances between Ireland and this country, and that we had been too much wedded to our own ideas and opinions to admit of our legislating with much chance of successs. Now, nothing could be more unstatesmanlike than to say that, because a law works well in our country, it must work well in another; and, in fact, to legislate for Ireland, with a different set of circumstances, as you would for England, was the real exceptional legislation. With regard to the Amendment, personally he was in favour of it, as it was his own practice to grant leases for 20 years; but it was impossible to deny the fact that in Ireland the general feeling was in favour of leases for a longer period. Mr. Dillon, whose experience on this subject was very great, and whose opinions were by no means extreme, in giving evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons in 1862, was of opinion that agricultural leases ought, considering the great want of permanent improvements in Ireland, to be granted for 31 years; adding, that a 19 years' lease would be ample if the Irish tenant found his farm in the same state as that in which a tenant usually entered upon a Scotch farm. Mr. Joynt, a very well-known land agent, giving evidence before the same Committee, stated that no value was placed in Ireland upon a 21 years' lease. He would ask their Lordships whether, in dealing with this question, it was worth their while to endeavour to force upon the Irish people opinions which were not congenial to them, and to insist upon customs which, however well they might have worked in England and Scotland, had not been found successful hitherto in the case of Ireland?


said, that us to the opinions of Mr. Dillon and Mr. Joynt, of which the noble Earl had spoken, he must remind their Lordships that they were given with reference to an entirely different question—namely, what length of lease would be sufficient compensation for improvements. But they were not now dealing with the question of improvements, which would be duly considered in a subsequent clause, under which it was provided—and with that provision he believed no interference had been proposed—that nothing less than a 31 years' lease would remove from the landlord his liability to pay compensation to the tenant for the improvements made by the latter. If their Lordships were to adopt the Amendment proposed by his noble Friend, the tenant at the end of the 21 years would still go out with a complete and perfect right to be compensated for the whole of his improvements. These two questions should be kept entirely distinct. A man in the position of a tenant from year to year might, by having his tenure prematurely closed, suffer such an amount of inconvenience as equitably to give him a claim to compensation; but if a man agreed to take land for a fixed term, and at the end of that period to give it up, how could he possibly say that he was surprised or deceived? When the clause was first proposed, it was said that if the mere granting of a lease were to be held to deliver the landlord from being compelled to give compensation, nominal leases of from three to four years might be granted, so as to evade the spirit of the clause. That, he thought, was an argument of great force; and it was their Lordships' duty to attempt to de- fine what length of years constituted a substantial and tangible lease; but that once ascertained, the question of compensation should be kept entirely distinct. What right had a man who took a 21 years' lease, and covenanted at the end of that term, to give up the farm to come forward on the expiration of the time and claim an extra period of seven years for his improvements?


hoped their Lordships would not accede to this Motion. The justification of the clause was to be found in the fact that the land in Ireland had been brought into cultivation almost exclusively by the labours of the tenants, and that gave them a claim to consideration totally irrespective of any specific improvements they might make. Some evidence had already been given to show the length of lease which was most highly thought of in Ireland; and, as a further proof, he might mention that in the settlement of Irish estates, the duration of agricultural leases, which power was given under those instruments to make, was invariably 31 years. He was sorry to say anything to disturb the amenities which had passed between the occupants of the two Front Benches. Nothing could be fairer or more conciliatory than the tone of the noble Duke opposite and of the party, speaking generally, with which he was associated. He was bound to say, however, that the manner of the noble Duke was very suggestive of the velvet glove that covered the iron hand. When it was found that every Amendment proposed to the Bill had for its object to minimize the application of a principle which had been admitted on the second reading, and to cut down as much as possible every advantage that the Bill gave to the tenant, he did not think that a wise course for the House to pursue, either in relation to its own character or to the wishes of the people of Ireland. Having accepted the principle of the Bill, it would be more wise, as well as more generous, to accept the provisions of the Bill than to pare down the concession by successive Amendments. If the Bill were passed in a mutilated shape, not only would this create grave dissatisfaction in Ireland, but it might give rise to a serious agitation against property.


said, the reference just made to speeches and Motions in that House, and to their pro- bable effect upon the minds of the Irish people, led him to think that there were some noble Lords who were speaking to the Gallery rather than with any clear appreciation of the principles of the Bill.


said, he had no wish to speak to the Gallery, or to engage in the conflict between the two noble Earls who had last spoken. He was bound, however, to point out that the Government were in the position of reasoning, not only with the commander of many legions, but of trying to reason with those legions themselves, which sometimes broke away from their commander as they did the other night. Comparisons of customs that found favour in England or Scotland with the ordinary customs in Ireland were altogether deceptive. In Ireland, the 31 years' lease was the general form, and the 21 years' lease was comparatively unknown.


said, the number of Irish leases for 21 years and for 31 years was, as nearly as possible, equal. But there were, undoubtedly, a large number of leases for periods longer than 31 years.


understood that there were four times as many of the longer leases in Ireland as there were of the 21 years. The Irish people would not thank their Lordships for offering them a 21 years' lease; they might as well offer them nothing. Their Lordships had differed from the other House as to the sliding scale of compensation; they had differed also on some minor and pettifogging points, and now they proposed to cut down the duration of the lease. If they insisted on cutting down leases from 31 to 21 years they might as well give up the attempt to satisfy the people of Ireland with their legislation on this subject. It was all very well to argue the matter from an English point of view; but what was wanted was to take into view all the circumstances of Ireland, and act accordingly. It would be better to give up the attempt to pacify Ireland altogether than to make half concessions. He would remind their Lordships of the saying of an eminent man of antiquity, who, when he was asked whether he had bestowed upon the State the best laws, replied—"I have given the best for them."


said, he should like to ask the noble and learned Lord if he had ever inquired what would satisfy the people of Ireland? For himself, he firmly believed that nothing but legislative separation from this country would satisfy Ireland. With regard to leases, the practice of the county of Tyrone was to give leases for 50 years. Long leases were also given in Down and Armagh in consideration of improvements.


wished to state to their Lordships a few facts about leases from his own experience. In Ireland it was the custom of the country to give leases for 31 years; it was not the custom to grant 21 years' leases. On his own estate there were leases of 75 years. It was the custom to grant leases to tenants when the landlord came of age. His grandfather and his father granted leases for 31 years or throe lives. He himself had granted leases for 31 years when he came of age, but without the lives; but he should say that those tenants who had leases were those who not only made least improvements, but who made no improvements whatever. He had tenants who had made improvements, but the only tenants who had done so were tenants from year to year. This was contrary to the course of things in England and Scotland—he could not undertake to explain the anomaly, but such was the fact. His tenants in Tyrone and Ulster had made very large improvements both in the reclamation of land and in building houses, but they were all tenants from year to year. He was very glad to give a lease to any tenant who wanted to improve on the security of a lease; but he generally found when application was made for a lease that the tenant was in debt, and wanted to borrow money by the mortgage of his holding.


said, he would not destroy the effect of the admirable speech of the noble Lord on the other side (Lord Powerscourt), who, though unintentionally, had done more than any other speaker to support the argument of his noble Friend the noble Duke behind him. He rose merely to observe that there appeared to be some misconception in the minds of many noble Lords. They were not discussing the question of leases for 21 or 31 years with reference to improvements made, but with reference to disturbance, wholly irrespective of improvements.


thought it unadvisable to make Amendments for the mere sake of Amendments; and in speaking this he believed that he expressed the views of the farmers themselves.


confirmed what had been said by the noble Earl the Secretary for the Colonies as to the deep feeling that existed on the subject of leases for 31 years in Ireland, and the great disappointment that would be felt if the proposal in the Bill were cut down to 21 years.


denied that the object of noble Lords on his side the House was, as had been stated by a noble Lord opposite, to minimize the effect of any advantage that the Bill contained; and, as the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had gone so far as to describe his Amendments as of a pettifogging character, he would venture to deny the allegation. In two or three instances he might have sought to make merely verbal alterations; but, with those exceptions, all his Amendments had been described in the speech which he made on the second reading of the Bill, on which occasion he carefully guarded himself and those who acted with him from being supposed to agree with all that the Bill contained; and said that, in his opinion, the measure would require alteration in many of its details. He also went through the clauses, and described the Amendments which he thought would be necessary, and those Amendments had been strictly adhered to. He ventured further to say that none of his Amendments were contrary to the principle of the Bill.

On Question, That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the clause? their Lordships divided:—Contents 111; Not-Contents 140: Majority 29.

Resolved in the Negative.

Then the word ("twenty-one") inserted.


said, their Lordships had now come to that part of the Bill which appeared to him to be most dangerous. His Amendment was, in line 6, to leave out "one hundred" and insert "fifty," his object being to make tenants at the latter rental entitled to compensation under the provisions of this section. He confessed he viewed those six lines of the clause as the most detestable legislation he had seen for many years, and the course which he should have wished to take, if he could have hoped to carry a majority with him, was to strike out this part of the clause altogether. The principles laid down by the Government in support of the clause were various, but there was only one to which any stability could be attached—the allegation that in consequence of the poverty of certain of the Irish tenants they were unable to take care of themselves. He did not say that the allegation was completely accurate; but, assuming it to be so, it was a reason which commended itself to one's mind. It was, however, admitted by the Government that there was a limit to that proposition. They did so by laying down in the Bill that— The tenant of any holding valued under the Acts relating to the valuation of rateable property in Ireland at an annual value of not more than £100, and held under a tenancy from year to year, existing at the time of the passing of this Act shall, if disturbed by the act of his immediate landlord, be entitled to compensation under and subject to the provisions of this section. The Amendment which he was about to propose would draw the limit at a £50 instead of a £100 valuation. On what principle had the Government fixed the limit at £100 and said that a tenant whose holding was valued under that sum was not able to take care of himself? He proposed to say that a tenant whose holding was valued at £50 was very well able to take care of himself; indeed, he should be disposed to fix the limit at a sum very much below £50, because he thought that any tenant who was above starvation might be considered as occupying a position which enabled him to protect himself. By another part of the Bill, the tenant taking a holding valued above £50 would be allowed to contract himself out of the Bill. Why did the Government propose one principle for the future and another for the past? But their Lordships were told that the circumstances of Ireland were exceptional. He wished to know why was the man of small means in England better able to take care of himself than the man of small means in Ireland? When they came to a limit of £50 they came to a limit which English landlords and tenants knew very well. He called upon English landlords well to consider this clause, for they might be assured that the principle proposed to be established by the Government by this clause for Ireland would, if it were adopted, speedily travel over from Ireland to England. This was not a question of custom or compensation—it was, in effect, giving Irish tenants certain rights that were not recognized in any other country in the world. This Bill was, in fact, a heavy penalty on the generosity of the landlords, for if a landlord kept a family for many years on his estate, this Bill would severely punish him for doing that which he considered in the light of a kindness. If the impression were once made upon the minds of English landlords that they were likely to be brought within those principles, they would, as their only refuge from its evil effects, put up their farms to competition, make large holdings, adopt Scotch leases, and carry on their dealings with their tenants on hard trade principles. The relations between English landlords and tenants were the best that existed anywhere between landlords and tenants. Nothing but the principle of such a Bill as this would disturb them. Therefore, he desired there should be no mistake about it, that this Bill applied to Ireland and Ireland alone.

Amendment moved, in page 6, leave out ("one hundred") and insert ("fifty").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


said, that if the noble Marquess had moved to strike out the whole paragraph that would have been a perfectly logical course; but his Amendment was scarcely logical. He was sure that noble Lords on both sides of the House were thoroughly convinced that this part of the Bill especially was necessary in order to secure the peace and prosperity of Ireland. If that were so, he asked whether it was desirable that there should be such a limit established as that proposed by the noble Marquess? The result of such a restriction, he believed, would be the spread of great discontent and dissatisfaction in Ireland with the legislation of this country. Though the class of tenants who paid above £50 were not so numerous as the classes which paid under that amount, they were, nevertheless, an important class, and the legislation of this clause ought to extend to them. As far as the future was concerned, tenants over £50 could, under Clause 11, contract themselves out of the operation of the Bill, and the question which their Lordships had now before them was narrowed to the consideration of whether it was desirable positively to prohibit all existing tenants from £50 to £100 a year from coining under the operation of this clause. It appeared to him that the Amendment pared, down the operation of the clause without adequate necessity, and in a manner which was likely to lead to much dissatisfaction, as well as seriously to impair the benefit their Lordships intended to confer on Irish tenants, and in order to confer which they were willing to make considerable sacrifices. The noble Marquess asked what was the difference between, the case of the Irish and that of the English tenant generally; but it was to be supposed that those who had agreed to the principle of that clause must have seen sufficient reason in the circumstances of Ireland to induce them to do in the case of that country that which he was confident they would not have done in the case of England. There could be no doubt that a very great difference in this matter existed between England and Ireland, and that the excessive competition for land and the scarceness of other means of employment than agriculture placed Ireland in an exceptional position as compared with the rest of the kingdom. The Amendment would seriously lessen the probability of the acceptance of the clause, and he hoped their Lordships would not adopt it.


said, that thus far he had supported the Bill from the conviction that it was a measure of justice, and was likely to produce great benefit to Ireland. But while he admitted that an exceptional state of things existed in Ireland that required a remedy, and thought it would be bad policy to pare down very much the measure brought in by the Government, still there was, in his view, a great principle involved in the proposal now before them, and upon full consideration he should feel bound to accept the Amendment. In Ireland, a tenant at £50 a year was perfectly independent, and the principle of compensation for disturbance being a novel and exceptional one ought not to be extended too far. He had no fear that such a measure would be introduced into England, the genius of whose people he did not think it would suit; but believing that a great and just principle was involved in the Amendment proposed by the noble Marquess, he should for that reason support it.


said, nothing could be more mischievous to the success of the Bill or the peace of Ireland than the attempt to carry the Amendment. All who were acquainted with Ireland knew that the £50 class of tenants exercised great influence on those below them, and if they were dissatisfied with the provisions of the Bill—as they certainly would be if the Amendment were adopted—there was but little hope of the measure pacifying Ireland. There was one circumstance in connection with the land which was perfectly intelligible in Ireland, but, perhaps, not so in England, and which had an important bearing on the question. There was no Irish landlord who did not know that an Irish marriage was a purely commercial speculation. The match was often hardly thought of two days before it was made between the young couple; a bargain was struck by the parents or friends; it was a question of the fortune of the parties and dependent on the size of the farm; and the landlord generally had a knowledge of the arrangement. Was it right, then, that he should be able to turn round the following day and turn the young tenant out without compensation? He regretted that the limitation in the clause had ever been introduced, and he most sincerely trusted the Committee would not accept this Amendment of the noble Marquess.


remarked that they had not heard to-night quite so much about justice as about dissatisfaction. This Bill was ostensibly a small tenants' Bill; £50 had been adopted in a most important particular, and it would have been much better if it had been placed at the head of the compensation scale. He would cordially support the Amendment.


said, it was quite true that this was exceptional legislation; but the state of Ireland required exceptional legislation. The House had passed the two first clauses without hesitation. The first legalized the Ulster custom; the second gave compensation in the other three Provinces for disturbance of occupation. Now, he should have much preferred that the Ulster tenant-right should have been extended to the whole of Ireland. As to the compensation given by this clause, if they excluded tenants between £50 and £100 what would happen? In the first place, they would place the tenants in the other three Provinces of Ireland at a disadvantage compared with those of Ulster. In Ulster there was no limit whatever under the custom of the Province; but here, as regarded the other Provinces, it was proposed to fix a limit of £50. There was no limit in Ulster as to the amount which the tenant might claim; but in the other three Provinces it could not exceed £250. In Ulster a tenant might at any moment quit his holding and could obtain compensation; but in the other Provinces no claim could be made unless the landlord disturbed the tenant. Again, in Ulster the offer of a lease was no bar whatever to the custom; their Lordships had just decided that in the other Provinces a tenant with a 21 years' lease could not claim under this section. Then they allowed a tenant in the other three Provinces to contract himself out of the Bill; but in Ulster that could not be done. Here there were five cases in which the position of the tenant in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught was very unfavourable compared with that of the tenant in the Northern Province. The clause had been much diminished in value by the Amendments which their Lordships had already made, and if the Amendment of the noble Marquess was carried he thought it would be fatal to the success of the measure. The tenants of from £50 to £100 were the leaders of public opinion; they would be dissatisfied, and would endeavour to make others dissatisfied also. The Bill would also become a Consolidation Act, and that would be no recommendation to the tenantry of Ireland. He should look with great apprehension to a renewal of the agitation of which they had had quite enough last autumn. The best way to put an end to it would be to accept the Government measure. It would be unfortunate if, by alterations made in this House prejudicial to the interests of the tenant, the Bill was changed from what was passed by the House of Commons by large majorities, and he regretted the Amendment proposed by the noble Marquess.


said, he found himself on this occasion in a very disagreeable position, as he was unable to support the Amendment of his noble Friend. But being of opinion that the proposal was not judicious, he did not think it would be fair or proper on his part to give a silent vote. Nobody could deny that there was an inconsistency in leaving £100 in one part of the Bill when in another they had put the limit at £50; and if they were drawing up this clause for the first time he would not hesitate to insert the words proposed by his noble Friend. But he looked at the matter in this way. He thought the class of persons in question might never come under the operation of the clause at all. He apprehended that tenants between £50 and £100 were never likely to be evicted unless for nonpayment, of rent. If that were so, he was of opinion that it would be unsafe to put a limitation in the clause which those people might regard as unfair. In the Amendment introduced in the scale he wished to touch only the lower part, while the upper part was left untouched; and so in this case he thought it better not to touch the class of men who would be affected by his noble Friend's Amendment. These were a very important class in the districts in which they resided; they were the men selected to fill the office of Poor Law Guardians, and they were likely to do an infinity of harm if they went through the country declaring that they had been unfairly excluded from the benefits of the clause.


expressed his extreme disappointment at the illogical explanation of the noble Duke. The noble Duke said he apprehended that tenants between £50 and £100 were not likely to be often evicted. Why, then, retain them in the Bill? That was exactly the reason why those tenants should be excluded from its operation. The noble Lord (Lord Greville) had spoken of the tenants of Ulster being more favoured than those of the other Provinces. But what was the reason? Why, it was because they had paid for their farms; and now they were giving compensation out of the pocket of the landlord to tenants who had not paid one shilling. It was the very men to whom was intrusted the whole of the local government of the country, who were among the moat pros- perous members of the community, and who were not dissatisfied with their position, that Her Majesty's Government declared by this Bill to be incapable of taking care of themselves. He could therefore see no reason why the proposal of the noble Marquess should not be accepted by the Committee.


said, he regarded this matter as one of such vital importance that, at the risk of separating himself from one for whose opinion he had so much respect as he had for that of the noble Duke, he should divide the Committee.

On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 101; Not-Contents 119: Majority 18.

Hatherley, L. (L. Chancellor.) Chichester, Bp.
Down, &c., Bp.
Exeter, Bp.
Devonshire, D. Oxford, Bp.
Richmond, D.
Saint Albans, D. [Teller.] Acton, L.
Ashburton, L.
Ailesbury, M. Balinhard, L. (E. Southesk.)
Camden, M.
Lansdowne, M. Belper, L.
Normanby, M. Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller]
Airlie, E. Calthorpe, L.
Camperdown, E. Camoys, L.
Chichester, E. Carew, L.
Cottenham, E. Carrington, L.
Cowper, E. Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)
Craven, E.
De Grey and Ripon, E. Castletown, L,
De La Warr, E. Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)
Ducie, E.
Fitzwilliam, E. Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Fortescue, E. De Tabley, L.
Granville, E. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Ilchester, E. Granard, L. (E. Granard.)
Jersey, E.
Kimberley, E. Greville, L.
Lichfield, E. Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)
Minto, E. Harris, L.
Morley, E. Hastings, L.
Portsmouth, E. Hatherton, L.
Shaftesbury, E. Houghton, L.
Sommers, E. Howard of Glossop, L.
Spencer, E. Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort.)
Suffolk and Berkshire, E. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Falmouth, V. Kildare, L. (M. Kildare.)
Halifax, V. Lawrence, L.
Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.) Leigh, L.
Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.)
Powerscourt, V.
Sidmouth, V. Lurgan, L.
Sydney, V. Lyttelton, L.
Torrington, V. Lyvedon, L.
Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.) Robartes, L.
Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumney.) Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Methuen, L. Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.)
Monck, L. (V. Monck.) Sandys, L.
Monson, L. Seaton, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L. Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Mostyn, L.
Northbrook, L. Sudeley, L.
O'Hagan, L. Suffield, L.
Oxenfoord, L. (E. Stair.) Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)
Panmure, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Poltimore, L. Vernon, L.
Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.) Wentworth, L.
Wrottesley, L.
Armagh, Archp. Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.)
Cleveland, D. De Vesci, V.
Manchester, V. [Teller.] Exmouth, V.
Marlborough, D. Gough, V.
Rutland, D. Hardinge, V.
Wellington, D. Hawarden, V.
Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)
Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)
Strathallan, V.
Bristol, M. Templetown, V.
Exeter, M.
Salisbury, M. [Teller.] Abinger, L.
Winchester, M. Aveland, L.
Bateman, L.
Abergavenny, E. Boston, L.
Amherst, E. Braybrooke, L.
Annesley, E. Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)
Aylesford, E, Chelmsford, L.
Bandon, E. Clarina, L.
Bantry, E. Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)
Bathurst, E.
Beauchamp, E. Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)
Brownlow, E. Clinton, L.
Cadogan, E. Clonbrock, L.
Carnarvon, E. Cloncurry, L.
Coventry, E. Colchester, L.
Cowley, E. Colville of Culross, L.
Dartmouth, E. Congleton, L.
Eldon, E. Delamere, L.
Ellesmere, E. De L'Isle and Dudley, L.
Erne, E. Denman, L.
Ferrers, E. De Ros, L.
Feversham, E. De Saumarez, L.
Harewood, E. Digby, L.
Harrington, E. Dunsandle and Clanconal, L.
Lanesborough, E.
Lucan, E. Dunsany, L.
Macclesfield, E. Elphinstone, L.
Mansfield, E. Fitzwalter, L.
Manvers, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Morton, E.
Nelson, E. Grantley, L.
Portarlington, E. Grinstead, L. (E. Enniskillen.)
Powis, E.
Rosse, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Rosslyn, E.
Selkirk, E. Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)
Shrewsbury, E. Heytesbury, L.
Strange, E. (D. Athol.) Leconfield, L.
Tankerville, E. Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)
Wilton, E.
Moore, L. (M, Drogheda.) Sinclair, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Northwick, L. Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)
Oranmore and Browne, L.
Southampton, L.
Ormathwaite, L. Stratheden, L.
Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.) Strathnairn, L.
Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Penrhyn, L.
Raglan, L. Talbot de Malahide, L.
Redesdale, L. Templemore, L.
Rivers, L. Thurlow, L.
Romilly, L. Tredegar, L.
Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.) Wigan, L. (E. Crawford and Balcarras.)
Scarsdale, L. Willoughby de Broke, L.
Silchester, L. (E. Longford.) Wynford, L.
Zouche, L.

Resolved in the Negative; Then the word ("fifty") inserted.

Amendment moved, page 4, line 13, page 6, line 14, after the word ("void") in both these places, add— ("Unless the Court shall sanction such contract, which it is hereby authorized to do upon the application of the tenant, on being satisfied that the tenant receives a benefit under or by virtue of the contract which is a sufficient compensation for the waiver of his claim under this section").—(The Earl of Lichfield.)


supported the Amendment, mentioning a case within his own knowledge to show that landlords would be inclined to act liberally towards the families of old servants who happened to possess a holding on the estate, but who could not do so unless a permissive power to contract existed.


said, the whole Bill was based upon the supposed incapacity of the tenant to contract. He thought it better to leave the Court to deal with cases as they arose than to attempt to provide for them beforehand by special clauses.

Amendment (by Leave of the Committee) withdrawn.


proposed to leave out the final words of the clause "and thereafter until Parliament shall otherwise determine," with the object of limiting the restraint on the contracting power of the tenant to a period of 20 years from 1871. This Amendment did not interfere with the principle of the restraint itself, but merely fixed the limit of its duration.


thought it would be very undesirable to put into the Bill anything suggestive of a compact, which might be capable of being viewed as an advantage to one side and a disadvantage to the other. The words as they stood had been introduced to meet a suggestion of the noble Duke's Friends in the other House of Parliament. It was impossible to accept the noble Duke's proposition, because no one could tell what might be the state of circumstances at the end of 20 years; but he thought they would meet the difficulty by adopting the words "unless then Parliament should otherwise determine."


suggested a further alteration of the words proposed by the noble Earl.


said, it was impossible to make out what was going on at the Table between the two noble Lords. Why not adhere to the Amendment as placed upon the Paper?

After short discussion, Amendment (by Leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Clause amended, by adopting the term "until January, 1871, and no longer, unless Parliament shall otherwise determine."

Paragraph, as amended, ordered to stand part of the clause.

Amendment moved, in page 4, line 15, to insert the following Proviso:— Provided always that in the case of the landlord being disturbed in possession of his property by forced sale in the Landed Estates Court, it shall be lawful for such Court to consider whether the price obtained by sale of such property has been diminished by the operation of this Bill, and in case said Court shall find such to be the case, said Court may award such sum as it may deem fair and reasonable to recoup the seller for decreased value received from sale of his property inconsequence of the provisions of this Bill, such sum so awarded never to exceed, together with the amount of purchase money, a sum amounting to 20 years' purchase on net rental of property sold; this provision to cease 20 years after the passing of this Act."—(The Lord Oranmore and Browne.)


objected to the Proviso.

On Question, whether to insert? Resolved in the Negative.

Clause agreed to.

House resumed; and to be again in Committee on Monday next.

House adjourned at a quarter past One o'clock A.M., to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.