HL Deb 10 August 1883 vol 283 cc44-8

Clause 43 (Limitation of distress in respect of amount and time).

On the Motion of The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL, the following Amendment made:—In page 16, line 2, after ("distress") insert— ("Except in the case of arrears of rent in respect of a holding to which this Act applies existing at the time of the passing of this Act, which arrears shall be recoverable by distress up to the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five to the same extent as if this Act had not passed.")

THE MARQUESS OF EXETER moved an Amendment, to the effect that the period for which a distress for rent might be made should be two years instead of one.

Amendment moved, in page 16, line 2, to leave out ("one year") and insert ("two years.")—(The Marquess of Exeter.)


said, he must decline to accept the Amendment, believing that the limitation of the power of distress to one year was the proposal most acceptable to the tenant, and sufficient for the protection of the landlord. The period of one year was fixed on the recommendation of the Select Committee of the House of Commons which recently sat upon the subject.


, in supporting the Amendment, said, that, as far as he knew, the feeling of the tenantry was the other way. It would be unfortunate for poor tenants, who required indulgence from their landlords at present, if the landlord's security through the power of distraint was to be so limited. In this time of sore distress, it would force many landlords to eject their tenants, who did not desire to do so, and it would operate cruelly on poorer tenants. The result would be that it would produce ill-feeling in many districts where good feeling now existed.


said, he thought it would be a great pity to interfere with the compromise on that subject embodied in the Bill.


held that the limit of two years would form a better compromise than one year.


said, that, in his opinion, and in the opinion of many other people, there was a good deal to be said in favour of the abolition of the Law of Distress. There was no- thing more prejudicial than for land to be in the hands of men without means. Yet the Law of Distress had been in existence for many years, and there were at present many tenants who were behind in their rent; accordingly, he did not think their Lordships should go further than the Committee of the House of Commons had recommended, but that they should limit the right of distress to one year. That seemed a reasonable proposition. He was not prepared to say that there was an extraordinary virtue in one year, as compared with two years; but he thought one year was enough to meet all the requirements of the case; and, moreover, that limit had been recommended by a Committee of the House of Commons after careful consideration.


said, he did not agree with the noble Earl (the Earl of Kimberley) in thinking it would be advantageous to abolish the Law of Distress altogether. It had been abolished in Scotland; and his (the Earl of Camperdown's) experience was that tenants were regretting the course which had been taken. At the same time, he should regret if the Government consented to adopt two years instead of one, seeing that the latter period was ample enough. The question had been very much discussed at the various Chambers of Agriculture, and the general opinion was in favour of one year.


said, he would remind their Lordships that the relation between landlord and tenant was very different to other creditors and debtors. Further than that, the persons who would suffer most by the abolition of the Law of Distress were the small and struggling tenants.

On Question, "That (' one year ') stand part of the Clause?"

Their Lordships divided:—Contents 47; Not-Contents 56: Majority 9.

Solborne, E. (L. Chancellor.) Cowper, E.
Derby, E.
Granville, E.
Grafton, D. Kimberley, E.
Manchester, D. Morley, E.
Northbrook, E.
Bristol, M. Pembroke and Montgomery, E.
Camperdown, E. Saint Germans, E.
Shaftesbury, E. Howth, L. (E. Howth.)
Stanhope, E. Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Suffolk and Berkshire, E.
Lovat, L.
Sydney, E. Lyttelton, L. Methuen, L.
Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.) Monson, L. [Teller.]
Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)
Powerscourt, V.
Ramsay, E. (E. Dalhousie.)
Exeter, L. Bp.
Reay, L.
Abordare, L. Ribblesdale, L.
Belper, L. Rosebory, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Blachford, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.] Sandhurst, L.
Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)
Breadalbane, L, (E. Breadalbdne.)
Thurlow, L.
Carlingford, L. Tollemache, L.
Carrington, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Chesham, L.
Dacre, L. Wrottesley, L.
Emly, L.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Bagot, L.
Botreaux, L. (E. Loudoun.)
Northumberland, D.
Richmond, D. Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)
Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.) Brodrick, L.(V. Midleton.)
Exeter, M. [Teller.] Clinton, L.
Salisbury, M. Crofton, L.
Winchester, M. Delamere, L.
De L'Isle and Dudley, L.
Beauchamp, E.
Cadogan, E. De Mauley, L.
Carnarvon, E. Digby, L.
Coventry, E. Egerton, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Ellenborough, L.
Gerard, L.
Haldon, L.
Feversham, E. Harlech, L.
Haddington, E. Harris, L.
Harewood, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Harrington, E.
Macclesfield, E. Heytesbury, L.
Manvers, E. Hopetoun, L. (E. Hopetoun.) [Teller.]
Milltown, E.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Lcconfield, L.
Redesdale, E. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Ronmey, L. Stewart of Garlies, L, (E. Galloway.)
Sandwich, E.
Tankerville, E. Strathnairn, L.
Templemore, L.
Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.) Tredegar, L.
Westbury, L.
Hawarden, V. Wynford, L.
Melville, V. Zouehe of Haryngworth, L.
Sidmouth, V.

Resolved in the negative.

Words substituted.

On the Motion of The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL, the following Amendment made:—In page 61, line 11, leave out from ("except") to the end of the Clause.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 44 (Limitation of distress in respect of things to be distrained).

On the Motion of The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL, the following Amendment made:—In page 16, line 23, after ("feeding") insert ("or if any part of such price has been paid exceeding the amount so paid.")

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 45 (Remedy for wrongful distress under this Act).

On the Motion of The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL, the following Amendments made:—In page 17, line 9, leave out from ("and shall") to ("Summary Jurisdiction Acts") in line 11, both inclusive; line 12, leave out ("court") and insert ("county court or court of summary jurisdiction"), and leave out ("summary"); and in line 16, after ("requires") insert— ("Any such dispute as mentioned in this section shall be deemed to be a matter in which a court of summary jurisdiction has authority by law to make an order on complaint in pursuance of the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.")

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 46 to 51, inclusive, severally agreed to.

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