HL Deb 24 August 1881 vol 265 cc814-5

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

LORD CARLINGFORD, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that its object was to provide for the disposal of the small remainder of the business of the Irish Church Commission. Under the Irish Church Act of 1869, which constituted the Irish Church Commission, the business was to come to an end in 1879; but that was not done, and the Act of 1869 had been extended up to the present moment by means of the annual Expiring Laws Continuance Act. The Commission had now, however, almost entirely wound up its business, which, he must say, it had performed with great ability and success. The business now to be done was so much of a routine character that it was unnecessary to keep up the Irish Church Commission, and an opportunity had accordingly been taken of the creation of the Irish Land Commission to transfer the remaining portion of the business to that body. The effect of this Bill was to transfer all the powers, duties, and property of the Irish Church Commission to the Irish Land Commission. The main duties, which were of such a routine character as to add little to the labours of the Land Commission, would consist mainly in the collection of the amount of the Irish Church tithe rent charge which had not been bought up by the landlords, and the collection of the interest upon the mortgage monies still outstanding upon those Church lands which had been bought by the occupiers. All who took an interest in the matter looked upon this arrangement as one of a very convenient and economical character. He begged to move the second reading of the Bill.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a" —(The Lord Privy Seal)


said, he thought their Lordships should have had a statement from the noble Viscount at the head of the Commission (Viscount Monck), showing that he acquiesced in the course proposed to be taken.


said, he could answer for his noble Friend (Viscount Monck), who was quite aware that the Commission had no duties to perform which would justify its continuance.


said, that the Prime Minister, in 1835, had said that— He hoped that he should never live to see the day when such a system should he adopted in this country, for the consequences to public men and to the character of the country would be lamentable beyond description…. He hoped that he should never live to see the day when any principle tending to such a result would be adopted in that country (Ireland)."— [3 Hansard, xxvii. 513–14.] But that right hon. Gentleman had now carried its principle to the utmost extent, and the complications which would arise would be most perplexing. He (Lord Denman) thought the Boards of Guardians were the safest judges of the value of land in their locality, and could aid the Commissioners better than those just released from their duties under the Irish Church Temporalities Commission.


said, he supposed there was nothing in the Bill which altered the disposition of the funds.


Absolutely nothing.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.