HL Deb 10 August 1885 vol 300 cc1546-9

Order of the Day for receiving the Report of the Amendments read.

Moved, "That the Report be now received."—(The Marquess of Waterford.)


said, he would take advantage of that occasion to renew his protest against the further development of the original Act, which had more than verified the prediction he ventured to make as to its probable operation, founded, as it was, upon an unsound and dangerous principle, and applied to a state of society peculiarly ill-qualified at present to use it with fairness and discretion. He had predicted that it would be found generally unworkable, but, where applied, would give occasion for jobbery, favouritism, and spite.


said, he would divide the House on the Bill if he could hope for any support. So dangerous was the precedent of the Bill, that he should be anxious to divide against it by way of protest. He believed that action should be taken to prevent the dwellings of the labourers in Ireland being allowed to be in an unsanitary condition without resorting to exceptional legislation of this character. The action of the State should be negative, and not destructive. The principle of the Bill was, that some authority was to have the power to build and repair houses out of the rates, and. the State was to make advances in aid of this purpose.


said, he must be allowed to explain that he had been misunderstood on a former occasion. The erection of houses was to be paid for out of the rates, without State aid. The Treasury was to make advances to be paid off in a certain number of years.


said, that if the Treasury was to mate advances, it could not be disputed that the State was to come forward. He therefore wished to know where the money set aside for the purposes of the Bill was to be obtained? He would also like to be informed why the same principle was not to be applied to England and Scotland? He would ask, was not the same principle capable of adoption in regard to the labourers in Scotland and England? The principle of the Bill was one that might extend very far; and in a very few months or years it might be applied not only to Ireland, but to England and Scotland, to country and to town.


said, that the speech which they had just listened to ought to have been made in the year 1883, when the principle of the Bill was agreed to in that House. He maintained that the Bill was a necessity, and he desired to see it passed. The Act of 1883 certainly contained what was at the time a most novel principle; but as the Act had been kept continually dangling before the eyes of the Irish people, and as it was impossible that that Act could work in its present condition, it was right to pass the Bill in order that the principle recognized by their Lordships in 1883 might not be fruitless. Even from the point of view of his noble Friend (the Earl of Wemyss) the Bill was better than its predecessor, for it was more economical in its nature, that Act having proved to be unworkable in consequence of the enormous expenditure which it entailed. He (the Marquess of Waterford) was very much in favour of improving the housing of the Irish labourers. If their Lordships had soon the houses in which many Irishmen lived, they would feel strongly on the subject. He was very anxious that the Bill should pass, for he believed it would be a great boon to the Irish labourer; and, besides, it was cheaper to lease a piece of land than to buy the fee simple of it, and the Bill would save the rates instead of increasing them.


said, he had not merely protested against, but had moved the rejection of, the Bill of 1883.

On Question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 43; Not-Contents 5: Majority 38.

Resolved in the affirmative.

Report received accordingly.

Clause 16 (Powers of the sanitary authority relative to purchase existing cottages, and allot land to existing cottages).

THE MARQUESS OF WATERFORD moved an Amendment to the clause, providing that the purchases of cottages or plots of land to be put in repair for the accommodation of labourers should be "by agreement."

Amendment moved, in page 8, line 9, after ("may"), insert ("by agreement").—(The Marquess of Waterford.)


asked what provision was made for the protection of landlords? Who was to be the judge whether the cottage was in a bad state of repair or not?


, in reply, said, that the rules were very stringent as to the Court of Appeal. In the first instance, the Local Government Board would decide as to the adoption of the scheme when put by the local Sanitary Authority. The noble Earl, he was sure, felt confidence in the Local Government Board; but any landlord, not being satisfied, and who desired, could appeal to the Lord Lieutenant and the Privy Council. He (the Marquess of Waterford) thought that their interests were perfectly safe in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant.


said, that bad sanitary arrangements in towns were much more injurious than in the country. The proportion of deaths from zymotic diseases, which were due chiefly to bad sanitary conditions, was one-third less in Connaught than in Ulster or Leinster, because, though the dwellings themselves were generally much worse, they were also generally more scattered. The sanitary condition of the rural districts in Ireland was not bad, though that of the towns was very bad; neither was the death-rate nearly so high among the labourers in that country as it was amongst the operatives in the great manufacturing centres in England.

Amendment agreed to; words inserted accordingty.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 19 (Miscellaneous amendments of Act of 1883. 46 & 47 Vic. c. 60).


, who had the following Amendment upon the Paper:—In page 9, line 42, leave out from ("The") to ("time") in line 43, and insert— ("The advertisements mentioned in section seven of the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1883, may be published in one of the months of March, April, and May,") said, he did not intend to move it.

Amendment (by leave of the House) withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

On the Motion of The Marquess of WATERFOED, the following clause inserted after Clause 22:—

(Set off of rent against rates.)

"Any person indebted to a board of guardians in respect of poor rate for property situate in any union, to whom such board of guardians, in their capacity as sanitary authority, are indebted for rent for any land held by them for a term of years under this Act in that union, may set off against the sum so due by him for rates the sum due to him for rent as aforesaid."

Bill to be read 3a To-morrow; and to be printed, as amended. (No. 245.)