HL Deb 28 June 1870 vol 202 cc1069-84

Clauses 38 to 52.

Clauses 38 and 39 agreed to.

Clause 40 (Advances to tenants for purchase of holdings).


expressed surprise that these different clauses appeared to attract so little attention. Their Lordships were sanctioning what, if it was not a revolution in the tenure of property, was certainly a very serious experiment; and he thought it desirable that some limits should be imposed on the proceeding. £20 appeared to be the very lowest amount at which the owner of property would be willing and qualified to undertake the responsibilities of a freeholder.

Amendment moved, page 21, line 16, after ("Act") insert— ("Provided such holding be valued under the Acts relating to valuation of rateable property in Ireland at an annual value of not leas than twenty pounds").—(The Earl of Courtown.)


said, the noble Lord could not be aware of the effect of his own proposal. Out of the 600,000 holdings in Ireland, upwards of 500,000 were under £15 in value, without counting those which were between the £15 and the £20 limit. The proposal of the noble Lord, therefore, might be regarded as a simple and expeditious mode of putting an end to that part of the Bill.

Amendment negatived.


rose to move the omission of the clause. The clause proposed that public moneys might be advanced to assist tenants in Ireland to purchase the properties which they occupied. He had no objection to tenants becoming proprietors through their own industry and energy—though he had little faith in the power of the existing race of smaller proprietors to hold their own against the competition of larger capital and larger properties; but he did object to the State coming forward as a lender of money to enable tenants to acquire the lands on which they lived. It was true that restrictions had been inserted in the clause upon subletting, dividing, or assigning the properties which the State thus assisted the tenants to purchase; but, as had been truly said, the State had no machinery whatever for carrying out these prohibitions. Even in the case of private owners, stimulated by every motive that individual interest could supply, it was extremely difficult in practice to resist that tendency to subdivide plots of land which was the strongly-marked characteristic of occupiers in Ireland; how was it, then, to be supposed that the State, which had no resident agents, would be able to enforce these prohibitions? Then, what would happen? A purchaser who owed the State two-thirds of the value of the land would very likely allow his son or his daughter to occupy a portion of that which he had purchased; the population would gradually increase, and in the course of a short time the land, in spite of the legal prohibit, would, in fact, be held by a multitude of petty occupiers, in small patches that would barely afford subsistence to those who were upon them. How was the State to obtain payment of the interest on the purchase money, and the annual instalments which would be due to it? Would it be possible in order to enforce these payments to proceed against a multitude of small occupiers in all parts of the country and to deprive them of their holdings? In the interests of the English taxpayer and of the public Exchequer he protested against this clause, which would cause the country to embark on a policy that must inevitably result in the State losing a large sum of money. Their Lordships should remember that they had had sufficient experience of the proposed system, because in the Colonies all attempts to recover the payment of small quit-rents had failed, in spite of the prosperity of the holders of the lands; and he was sure that the result in Ireland would be similar, because in bad years it would be absolutely impossible for the occupiers to meet the payments which the State would expect. He was told that it was only proposed to advance £1,000,000 for the purpose of assisting the tenants; but the smallness of the amount asked for rather increased his objection to the clause, for if it were intended that this scheme should produce any real impression upon the condition of Ireland, and have a substantial effect on the distribution of property, the grant should have been £20,000,000 or £40,000,000. But the smallness of the proposition would lull the British taxpayer into a false sense of security; while by the clause there would be started a change which, if it became popular among the tenantry of Ireland, could not be stopped, and the £1,000,000 now granted must be followed by other and larger sums. Therefore, both on the ground of economy and for the real welfare of the people of Ireland, he protested against the proposition. This clause would tend, if it had any real operation, to bring back the dreadful state of things that existed in Ireland before 1846, when the population, which was crowded on the land, suffered frightful misery. He also objected to the clause on political grounds, and asked their Lordships whether anything could be more calculated to produce disaffection in Ireland than to constitute a large number of the proprietors of small holdings in that country debtors to the State? There was much force in the observation that the Emperor of the French had shown his sagacity by interesting a large number of his subjects in the maintenance of the existing Government by inducing them to become holders of the public funds of that country so as to give them a direct interest in securing peace and upholding the new form of government. Such a design was founded on political wisdom. But this proposition if adopted would have an exactly opposite effect, for it would cause a large number of the people of Ireland to become debtors to the State, and to feel that if they could carry any such measure as the repeal of the Union they would not only gain a political object, but would also relieve themselves from a debt which must hang like a millstone round their necks. The direct effect and tendency of the clause would therefore be both to offer a premium to political disaffection and also to increase that desire for the possession of land which was already too strong among the Irish people. By their Lordships' decision as to this clause he should be guided in his conduct as to the succeeding clauses. If this were retained it would, of course, be useless for him to move the omission of those which immediately followed it, and which were necessary for giving effect to it. He begged to move that the clause be omitted.


said, he regretted he could not on this matter agree with the arguments of the noble Earl, whose independent course in all matters relating to Ireland he had always admired—because they were not those of party. In sanctioning the second reading of this Bill, the House had, for good or for evil, confirmed the system of small tenancies in Ireland; and the question for their Lordships to discuss was, how they could best forward that state of things which was advocated by the Government measure? He objected to the British taxpayer being mentioned in the argument. The Irish people contributed their share of taxation, and they had, therefore, a right to demand that the Imperial resources should be applied to the benefit of that country. The principle of this clause had been adopted in Canada, Prince Edward's Island, and other Colonies, and had been introduced in Prussia, where it had worked extremely well, the instalments of the repayment being regularly forthcoming. This clause he looked upon as being the only honest one in the Bill, for it was just that whatever loss had arisen from the course that had been adopted towards Ireland by English legislation should fall, not upon the landlord, but upon the Imperial Exchequer. With other parts of the Bill he believed the Irish tenants would not be satisfied, for they had not petitioned in its favour. They wanted security of tenure, and in many speeches of different Members of Her Majesty's Government, they had been led to expect that they would derive some immediate and absolute gain from the Bill. Under this clause they would get it, for as they paid off the rent-charge each year they would feel that they were becoming possessors of the land. The right hon. Gentleman who proposed this part of the Bill had stated that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government that more than one paltry million of money should be applied towards making the people of Ireland daily more contented by enabling them to become the proprietors of the soil. As the instalments were paid the security of the Government would become better and better every year; while the inducement of the tenant to continue his payments would become greater and greater, and his interest in preserving peace would correspondingly increase. With the exception of the four millions granted during the famine, every farthing that had been advanced to Ireland out of the Imperial Exchequer had been repaid. No Englishman would object to a few millions being advanced under this clause, if it would tend to the pacification and the prosperity of the Irish people. If the present great and powerful Minister at the head of affairs were to propose the advance of a large sum to purchase estates at a rate not exceeding 20 years' purchase a small proprietary would be created which would tend greatly to the stability of existing institutions; and, more than that, the Irish people would feel that this was not a case of taking money from one Irishman to give to another, as in the case of the Irish Church Bill and the other clauses of this measure, but that by this clause the Imperial credit would be used for their benefit—and that was a thing which would be appreciated. The transactions might be carried out without the loss of a single shilling to the Imperial Exchequer, while it would confer the greatest possible benefit upon Ireland by inducing a feeling of satisfaction and goodwill.


reminded their Lordships that in 1824 a proposal had been made by Colonel Maberly, in the House of Commons, for advancing £1,000,000, by way of loan, to Ireland—it was to encourage different sorts of industry, and his noble Relative had voted for that grant, but in this clause an attempt was made to enable a tenant, without capital, to farm land profitably. He knew how sanguine Irishmen were on this point. He employed on land some of an Irish family, and he knew that the wages of the whole family amounted to £4 a week (£208 a year), partly from mining and wages at a cotton mill. He had asked the head of the family how he would be able to repay a loan for the purchase of land? His answer was—"Oh, if I had but 10 acres of land I could do very well." He (Lord Denman) asked—"How would you purchase manure?" His answer was—"It costs only 2s. 6d. a load, and straw costs only £1 a ton;" but he ventured to think that the loss of the £4 a week would be severely felt, and that it was desirable that other means of profit should be discovered rather than a mere application of labour to land. He admitted that in all labour there was profit; but the low price of manure and of straw only showed the want of a good market for agricultural produce, and he hoped that some better method might be discovered for securing the prosperity of Ireland.


said, he could not admit in the slightest degree the assumption of the noble Earl on the Cross Benches (Earl Grey), that the proposal contained in the clause was both wrong in principle and impossible in practice. The noble Earl had divided his objections into two classes—the one economical, and the other political. In answer to the economical objections of the noble Earl, he might observe that, though various opinions upon the subject existed amongst eminent political economists, there were many who advocated the principle of the clause, and these were able to quote the experience of Belgium, Prussia, and other parts of the Continent, where, according to Arthur Young's trite saying, "the magic of prosperity had turned a desert into a garden." In any case, he thought that the experiment was worth trying. Doubtless, to obtain the greatest amount of produce from land it was best that it should be cultivated by a tenant possessing capital under a wealthy landlord; but in many cases the state of affairs did not permit that condition of things to occur in Ireland, and therefore it was necessary that the next most advantageous terms should be secured. The noble Earl had objected in the strongest manner to the advance of money by the State to the Irish tenant to enable him to purchase his holding. The noble Earl had, however, made one concession, though certainly not a great one—he said that he had no objection to the tenant buying his holding with his own money. The noble Earl grounded his objection to the advance of money out of the Imperial Exchequer to the Irish tenant, on the ground that such a course would be calculated to injure the English taxpayer; but he (Earl Granville) could not see how the English taxpayer was likely to be injured by a scheme which would result in restoring peace, order, and industry in the sister country. The noble Earl had stated that all experience showed that there was very little chance of these email peasant-proprietors re- paying to the State the money they borrowed. He (Earl Granville) was of an entirely different opinion, and he was aware of an instance that supported a contrary view. In that case money had been lent to small farmers for the reclamation of bog land in Meath. The repayment was to be made in half-yearly instalments, extending over 20 years. The money had been all repaid, the last repayment having been made in 1849. That experiment, though only on a small scale, had been attended by a result which spoke strongly for the gratitude of the people. As to the political advantages of the proposal, if it should be acted on by those for whom it was intended, he agreed with the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) who spoke on this point in the discussion on the second reading, that it would be desirable not to have a very considerable portion of the land of Ireland either in the hands of very large proprietors or in those of very small tenants. He believed it important that there should be established in Ireland such an independent class of farmers as were to be found in many counties of England; but, at the same time, he thought it would be well if they could establish there a class of small landed proprietors similar to those found thriving and respectable in many parts of Europe. The noble Earl (Earl Grey) said that in this case the Government were following an opposite principle to that adopted by the Emperor of the French, when they proposed to make a large number of small farmers borrowers from the State. He (Earl Granville) thought if they were to give a large number of persons an immediate interest in the country to which they belonged they would create a feeling of tranquillity and a disposition to support the institutions of the country, which would operate greatly in favour of peace and order. The experiment now proposed was, indeed, only on a small scale; but should the people avail themselves of it Parliament could easily extend it. Believing, as he did, that the proposition in the clause would be acceptable to the people of Ireland and to very many of the Irish landlords, he hoped their Lordships would reject the Motion of his noble Friend.


said, that after looking at the clause from an economical and a political point of view he felt bound to vote in favour of the clause. He did so, however, on grounds different from those which the noble Earl had just urged. Though he thought that economically small holdings were a mistake, because they could not pay, he believed that practically they were of considerable advantage. But he drew a marked distinction between the principle of small holdings and the mode in which the Government, in the clause now before their Lordships, proposed to give it effect. It was not the poorest class of tenants who would avail themselves of the clause; but there was much reason to fear that purchases would be made by small farmers who would not have the additional capital to cultivate the land. Such persons would not only ruin themselves, but would become a burden to the State. It was a doubtful experiment to make the State a creditor, and a still more doubtful one to make the State a collector; when it might have, perhaps, to collect at the point of the bayonet, as the tithes were collected in 1836. The proposed experiment was only on a small scale; but he confessed if he were an Irish landlord, he would view it as the only compensation given him for the many sacrifices imposed by this Bill. Looking on it in that light, he did not feel at liberty to oppose the clause. Besides, much expectation had been raised in Ireland by the presence of this clause, and that being the case he did not think it would be judicious to reject it; but the Government having proposed it, to them he would leave the responsibility of carrying it out.


said, he had intended to say a few words on the second reading of the Bill; but, at that stage, it was received with such general favour that he thought any observations of his would be superfluous. The Bill having reached Committee, a change appeared to have come, if not over the spirit of their Lordships' House certainly over its acts. Noble Lords opposite who had received the Bill with complacency were now cutting it up in piecemeal.


rose to Order. Their Lordships were on Clause 40 of the Bill. If the noble Lord in the Chair was invested with any authority, he hoped he would keep Order.


The Question is—"That Clause 40 stand part of the Bill?"


said, he thought their Lordships would not grudge a little time in order that so important a clause should be fully and fairly considered. Their Lordships perhaps found it tedious work to be sitting so long over the Bill; he submitted that it was one which Irish landlords might be pardoned for wishing to have fully debated. If an Irish Parliament were discussing a Bill of this kind for England, what would be the feelings of an English landlord if an attempt were made to stop him when he rose to speak on it?


thanked the noble Earl for having interfered to procure him a hearing. He believed that the Bill even in the state in which it first came before their Lordships from the other House of Parliament would barely have been received as a satisfactory settlement of the land question, by those who lead and who express the feelings of the tenant class in Ireland. At the same time, he had a strong conviction that if the Bill had passed through their Lordships' House without any serious alteration, it would have been cheerfully and gratefully received, as those very leaders had already shown a disposition to come to terms, and had lowered their demands upon every fresh concession. He implored their Lordships it so completely against the interest of to stay their hands and not to continue to mutilate the Bill. If they persevered in altering the small tenants, they would make it worse than worthless as a settlement of that question. He dared not hope that any words of his would have weight with their Lordships; but he held it to be a duty which he owed to himself and to his country to say a few words on behalf of the small tenants in Ireland.


said, nothing could be more irregular, or more at variance with the suggestions thrown out earlier that evening by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, than the speech to which they had just listened. Their Lordships were engaged in discussing the 40th clause of the Bill, when the noble Earl (the Earl of Fingall) got up and took to task noble Lords on that (the Opposition) side of the House for the manner in which they had proposed the Amendments they deemed necessary in the measure—telling them that the Bill as it came up to that House would scarcely have been accepted in Ireland, and protesting against what he called its mutilation. He would not follow the example of the noble Earl, but would state to their Lordships his view of the clause immediately before them. On the second reading he had said that he thought this part of the scheme of the Government was wrong in many respects, and contrary to good policy; but, as it had been considered and accepted by the other House of Parliament, which was held to be pre-eminently the guardian of the public purse, he did not think he should be justified in opposing the proposed grant of public money to assist Irish tenants in purchasing the estates they might wish to buy. And he added that one negative advantage attending the plan was that the grant proposed was so small that, practically speaking, little mischief could result from its operation.


said, he believed this part of the scheme to be a sham, and that it would be impossible to carry it out; and he thought the Government knew that to be so as well as he did himself. Noble Lords opposite talked of making experiments in a great kingdom very much as they might talk of making them on their own farms. He was rather surprised to find his noble Friend who had just sat down justifying this proposal by saying that it had been assented to by the House of Commons, the guardian of the public purse. It was true their Lordships' House could not impose taxes, but they could prevent taxes from being imposed—a great privilege of which they ought to be proud, and which they ought to exercise on suitable occasions. That proposal, when it first appeared in the horizon of politics, was ridiculed by some, abused by others, and by none was it more completely pulled to pieces than by a very eminent Member of the Government, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, he believed, was the "guardian of the public purse." That experimental proposal—the suggestion of an individual Member of the Cabinet, and which had not a leg to stand upon—was, nevertheless, brought forward and thrust into a Bill of much importance, and one framed with great ability and power of thought. It had not been defended by any statesmanlike arguments, and he said it was a "sham." If unfortunately, it became a reality, why were they to tax the English people to buy for Irish tenants the estates of their landlords? Again, what could be more ridiculous than to provide £1,000,000 only for such a project? A hundred millions sterling would not suffice to carry out the principle to the full extent. The noble Earl (Earl Granville) had referred to the thriving class of small proprietors who were to be found in various countries in Europe. No doubt, the peasant-proprietors of Tuscany were a thriving class, and their country the most carefully cultivated in the world; but the old English yeomen—whose rapid disappearance he regretted—could not live as they used to do under the existing economical conditions of the country. It was impossible that on their own small properties they could subsist in comfort and support the load of taxation under which this country groaned, as they did before the Great War entailed such heavy burdens on the community. The noble Earl on the Cross Benches (Earl Grey) had done right in making at least a protest against this proposition. If the proposal were a good one, it ought to be carried out to the utmost; if a foolish one, it ought not to be dallied with as it was by the Government. If Her Majesty's Government carried out this scheme could they lay their hands on their hearts and say that they believed the tenantry of Ireland, such as they had described them, would be good creditors, and would not give the statesmen of this country every possible trouble hereafter?

On Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill? Resolved in the Affirmative.

Clause 41 (Advances of tenants for purchases of holdings in Landed Estates Court).

THE EARL OF POWIS moved to omit the last paragraph which forbade the alienation or subdivision of any holding, charged as aforesaid by order of the Landed Estates Court, without the consent of the Board. He did so on the ground that the tenant who had been declared the purchaser of his holding ought to have full liberty of dealing with his property in the same manner as any other person.

Amendment negatived.

THE DUKE OF RICHMOND moved that the clause be omitted. It was obvious that an estate sold in the manner contemplated would not fetch its full value. It would be thought so invidious a thing if a tenant wished to buy his holding to bid against him, that no one would venture to do so. If a tenant had money of his own there was no objection to his purchasing; but he must protest against the Government finding the money for the tenant. He should move, therefore, that the clause be struck out.


thought it almost impossible to adopt this Amendment with any consistency after having passed the last clause. The whole argument of his noble Friend seemed to be founded upon the rather sensational story told the other day by the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns), about a tenant saying in the auction-room that he had bid so much and he hoped nobody would bid against him. A noble Friend of his had told him that he had often heard the same story in Ireland, but in a different sense. An estate was put up for sale, and it was agreed beforehand by the landlord that it should be sold if it fetched £17,000. But it did fetch £26,000, and when one of these holdings was put up a man in a frieze coat said—"I am ready to give so much; will you bid against me?" He had another story to tell. Two persons were commissioned to buy a picture, and they were bid against by somebody in a corner; upon which one of them said—"Oh, this gentleman is bidding against the National Gallery," upon which the man in the corner immediately desisted and they got the picture. That was an instance of the good nature sometimes exhibited in such matters. He could not conceive on what principle of justice they should offer this boon to the tenants of Ireland in general and then take it away from that portion exactly who were placed in the greatest difficulty, seeing that the landlord to whom they were attached by the most grateful feelings might be succeeded by a stranger who might treat them harshly. He thought it impossible for their Lordships to adopt the Amendment.


said, there was another story which the noble Earl had not told, it was that the Trustees of the National Gallery sent two agents to buy a picture, and they bid against each other until they raised the picture to an extravagant sum. Apart, however, from all anecdotes, he objected to the clause. The noble Earl (Earl Granville) said, that in consistency they were bound to accept it as they had passed the former clause. But the cases were entirely different. The principle of Clause 40 was that if the landlord and tenant agreed, without any compulsory sale, that the latter should purchase his holding, the tenant might come to the Government to advance him a certain part of the price. As far as regarded the relations of landlord and tenant, no possible harm could arise from that. But under Clause 41 they would have a tenant going into the Landed Estates Court and bidding for the property of which he was the occupying tenant not out of his own resources, to which there could be no objection, but armed by the Government with two-thirds of the purchase-money. Such a man would be in a position preferable to that of any other intending purchaser. Let them observe the consequences of all this. If a tenant went into the market and bid for his holding there was the obvious danger that the public would not bid against him, from the fear that if they did so, and succeeded in becoming purchasers, they would be but laying the seeds of rancour and ill-feeling in such a way as to lead to the reaping of ill fruit in the future. But of the two dangers he thought the greatest was to be found in the proposal to put into the hands of tenants the means whereby they could injure the sale of their landlord's property. As several anecdotes had been told from the other side of the House in the course of this discussion, for the purpose of illustrating and enforcing the views held by noble Lords sitting there, he might be allowed to state some facts in support of the view which he held. In November last a portion of the estate of Lord de Lisle, in the counties of Cork and Limerick, was sold in the Landed Estates Court. Several lots sold at prices varying from 20½ to 24 years' purchase. At length a lot occupied by one John O'Donnell was put up. It contained 113 acres 1 rood and 30 perches, was held at a rental of £165 19s. 4d., and was put up at £2,000. Some other bids followed; and after £2,400 had been offered the tenant got up and, offering £2,500, said in a very distinct and em- phatic voice that he was better entitled to purchase the lot than was anyone else in the room. The result was that not another bid was made, and this particular lot sold for 15 years' purchase, as against 20 to 24 years' purchase in the other cases. A similar occurrence happened at a sale of some property in the county of Carlow. There were two lots, the first of which fetched 20½ years' I purchase; but when the second lot was put up the tenant offered a sum equal to 10 years' purchase, and roared out, "I am the tenant," the result being that there was no other bidding. The Judge, I however, very properly postponed the sale of that lot and proceeded with Lot three. He mentioned these facts to show what would arise if the tenants were allowed to bid at sales with public money. He admitted that the tenants to whom he referred went to the sales with their own money and not with grants from the State; but "if these things are done in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?" He ventured to think that such scenes as he had described would be multiplied and aggravated if the proposal of the Government were carried.

After a few remarks from the Earl of CLANCARTY,


contended that one of the greatest wants of Ireland to remedy the evils under which the country suffered was the creation of an independent small proprietary, and until such a body was found a peaceable state of things could not be looked for. But this object could not be secured unless the clause now being considered was allowed to remain in the Bill. Such scenes as the noble and learned Lord had described had occurred in Ireland, and would occur there again—tenants frequently made such statements in order to induce other tenants not to bid against them—but he did not think the passing of this Bill would tend to increase their frequency, for the reason that the measure had been framed in order to do justice to the holders of land, and so diminish the necessity for appeals such as those made by the tenants whose cases the noble and learned Lord had related. Particular objection had been raised to assisting tenants purchasing in the Encumbered Estates Court, although, as matter of fact, that class stood in more urgent need of assistance than did any other tenants in Ireland, by reason of the fact that the persons purchasing large estates in the Court turned out, as a rule, the most selfish and exacting landlords to the small tenants holding under them. He admitted that the Bill was, as a whole, an experiment. Some said it was a doubtful experiment; but this he could not, for one, believe. Be that as it might, however, unless the present clause were retained the experiment would have a very small chance of succeeding, and, therefore, he hoped the Committee would not accept the Amendment. It had been objected as an argument against the proposal, that the sum to be advanced by the Government was very small; but he (Lord O'Hagan) thought the Government deserved great credit for not having proposed to advance larger amounts. There was one instrumentality applicable to purchases under the Landed Estates Court which related to no other class in Ireland. It had been one great fortune of his life that when Attorney General he introduced the Record of Title Bill for Ireland. That measure affected only the purchasers in the Encumbered Estates Court; but they were the very persons of all others upon whom it was desirable that the experiments contemplated by this Bill should be tried. The cheapness of purchase, facility of transmission, and security of property under the provisions of that Act, all indicated these persons as the very best class upon whom this experiment of small independent proprietorships could be tested.


, agreeing with much that was contained in the speeches of both the noble and learned Lords, suggested, for the consideration of the Government, whether there were not parts of the country in which it might be dangerous to allow the experiment of an open sale in the event of the tenants desiring to purchase—for instance, in those parts of Ireland where the Peace Preservation Act had been recently put in force.


said, there was nothing to prevent any tenants who wished to buy an estate which was being sold in the Landed Estates Court from agreeing with the landlord as to the price, and submitting that price to the Judge of the Court. But what he objected to was the open bidding.


said, he could not conceive why, when the market was open, and the landlord was compelled by circumstances to sell in the Landed Estates Court, the tenant, who had the strongest possible inducement to buy the estate if he could, should be restrained from doing so.


said, that as the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord O'Hagan) had declared this clause to be essential to the working of the experiment, he would not throw any obstacle in its way. He retained all his own objections to the clause, but would not press his Motion for its rejection.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 42 (Landed Estates Court to afford facilities for purchase by occupying tenants).


said, he thought it very objectionable that where so much had already been done to give security to the occupying tenants, they should further be permitted to appear in Court and make suggestions as to the size of the lots in which the estate should be sold. Suppose there were 2,000 small tenants on an estate, this clause was a direct suggestion to each of them that he should appear before the Court.

Amendment moved, line 23, to leave out from ("and") to end of the clause. —(The Earl of Limerick)


said, that as the object of these clauses was that tenants, if able to purchase the property, should be at liberty to do so, it seemed but reasonable that the Court should have the power of getting from the tenants any information which might be desirable as to the way in which the estate could most advantageously be divided into lots. It by no means followed that the Court would act upon the information thus supplied to it; and nobody, he believed, distrusted the action of the Landed Estates Court.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.