HL Deb 10 August 1896 vol 44 cc351-65

Particulars of Holding taken into consideration in fixing the Judicial Rent.

No. of Ordnance Sheet.
County Tenant
Record No. Landlord
Date upon which holding inspected day of 189
Who attended inspection on behalf of Landlord?
Do, on behalf of Tenant?

1. Character of holding:—

The land in a holding may be all of uniform character, or it may consist of two or more of the qualities of land indicated in the following Schedule, which should be car, fully filled up according to the facts. The acreage of each class of land found in the holding should be sot out in the column given for the purpose, and this area should be marked off with a blue coloured line on the Ordnance Survey Map of the holding, and also marked with the letter or letters corresponding with same in the Schedule. Those areas should be stated with as near an approach to accuracy as under the circumstances is possible. The record number of the holding should in each case be marked on the Map, and where more than one holding is marked on the Map a Schedule of holdings with the record numbers and tenants' names is to he written on the right hand margin on the Map. The exterior boundaries of each holding must be carefully marked on the Map with a red coloured line.

(1.) SCHEDULE of classes of land.
Area in Statute Measure. Fair Rent per Acre (excluding Buildings), on the assumption that all Improvements thereon were made or acquired by the Landlord.
GRASS LANDS. A. R. R. £ s. d.
A. 1st class
B. 2nd class
C. 3rd class
D. 4th class
E. 5th class, mountain and unre claimed bog
F. 1st class, permanent meadow
G. 2nd class, permanent meadow
H. 1st class
I. 2nd class
K. 3rd class
L. 4th class, reclaimed mountain or bog
X. Waste (description)
Total area

2. For what description of stock is the grass land best suited?

3. Carrying power in sums or collops of grass land, stating the months during which the season usually continues, and how hay is provided?

4. How is the holding used?

5. The condition as to cultivation, deterioration or otherwise of the holding and the buildings thereon. Does the soil show traces of improvement or of deterioration, and to whom is the improvement or deterioration to be attributed?

6. Does the holding or any part of it require to be drained, and if so, how much of the holding? Mark part requiring drainage on map by thin parallel black lines.

7. IMPROVEMENTS: Proved in Court (excluding buildings) whether made by landlord or tenant, which are at present a bonâ fide benefit and suitable to the holding and are found to exist on inspection, to be stated in detail, together with the nature, character, and present capital value thereof, and the increased letting value due thereto, and the date, so near as can be ascertained, at which the same were made, and the deduction from rent made.

8. BUILDINGS: If tenants state so, if landlords specify particulars of same, the date, so near as can be ascertained, at which they were made, state fair annual value, whether they have been kept in repair, and by whom, and any deduction from rent made on account thereof, and the extent (if any) to which the landlord has paid or compensated the tenant in respect thereof made on account thereof.

Improvements under this head shall be distinguished according as—

  1. (a) they have been made wholly or partly by or at the cost of the tenant; and
  2. (b) the landlord has paid or compensated the tenant in respect thereof.

9. SITUATION: As to markets, railways, and county roads.

10. What per centage (if any) has been added for proximity, or what (if any) has been deducted in consequence of remote position?

11. (live particulars of any right of turbary, commonage, mountain grazing, or seaweed—and state whether turbary is inside or outside holding, what amount has been added for any of those appurtenances.


Average poor rate in £1.

Average county cess in £1.

13. Special incidents of holding, such as aspect, elevation, and water supply, and general observations.

To be signed by Lay Assistant-Commissioners day of 189

14. The following improvements included in enumeration in paragraph No. 7 were made or acquired by the tenant or his predecessors in title, and are exempted from rent.

15. For what rights (if any) referred to in answers to query No. 11 has an addition been made to the rent?

16. Upon what assumption with regard to the respective liabilities of landlord and tenant as to rates and taxes mentioned in answers to query No. 12, has the judicial rent been fixed?

To be signed by Legal and Lay Assistant-Commissioners.

17. The annual sum which should be the fair rent of the holding on the assumption that all improvements thereon were made or acquired by the landlord.

18. The fair rent of the holding.

19. If tenancy has been purchased since the Land Act, 1870, give date and amount of purchase-money on each sale.

20. What changes of rent have been proved in evidence?

To be signed by Legal Assistant Commissioner alone.

Session and Chapter. Short Title. Extent of Repeal.
44 & 45 Vict, c. 49. Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881. In section eight, sub-section two, from "as from the period "down to" decision of the court," and subsection three, from "from the rent day" down to "has been given."
Section twenty-four, from "as follows" to "fair rent for the holding," being the end of sub-section one.
In section twenty-six from "the Land Commission may advance "down to "payable by the tenant," being sub-section four.
Section twenty-eight, from the beginning down to "purchaser therein mentioned," being sub-sections one and two.
In section thirty, sub-section three, from "on the terms" down to "1870," where that figure next occurs, and from "and shall pay" down to "receive the same."
Section thirty-three.
In section fifty-eight, sub-section one, sub-section two, down to "home farm or" and sub-sections three and four.
48 & 49 Vict. c. 73. Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1885. In section two, from "it shall not be lawful" to the end of the section, being paragraph (c).
In section four, the words "such value to be calculated according to the table in the Schedule to this Act."
Section nine, sub-sections one and two.
In section fourteen, from "the Land Commission shall register" down to "local registration."
In section seventeen, from "the additional members of the Land Commission" down to "with the said additional Commissioners."
Section twenty-four.
50 & 51 Vict. c. 33. Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887. Section one, down to "passing of this Act."
In section four, from "a tenant may also" to "and otherwise."
Section five.
Section seventeen.
In section eighteen, from "section thirty-four" to the end of the section, being sub-section two.
51 & 52 Vict, c. 49. Purchase of Land (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1888. Section one, down to "said sub-section and."
Section three, save as regards agreements for purchase made before the passing of this Act.
Section six.
54 & 55 Vict. c. 48. The Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1891. In section four, sub-section two, from "in paying to the guarantee fund," to the end of the sub-section, being paragraph (b).
Section seven, from "and an annual sum" to end of section.
Section eight, as respects any purchaser's insurance money paid before the commencement of this Act.
In section twenty-nine, sub-section one, from "provided that" to "Act, 1881" where those words next first occur; and sub-section two.
In section forty-two, from "the expression annual value" to "so determined."

Standing Order No. XXXIX. having, on the motion of the MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE, been suspended,


formally moved "That the Bill be read the Third time."


said he desired to say a few words at this stage. This Bill dealt with a very important matter, and was brought forward a long time ago. As the Duke of Devonshire had said, it was intended to carry out certain pledges made by Members of Her Majesty's Government. It was in one sense a compromise, because it stood between those who were most advanced in the cause of the tenants, and those who wished to leave the law as it stood, but it had been accepted in the other House by the Irish representatives, not as a complete measure, but as one containing many clauses which opened the Land Courts to the Irish tenants. Since it had been in their Lordships' House some very important Amendments had been made in it. He saw in that morning's papers a document signed by certain leading Irish landlords—it might be said to be a manifesto—and learned that those noble Lords who had been instrumental in carrying Amendments had not intended to wreck the Bill and had not done so. [Cheers.] What was the meaning of wrecking a Bill? If they meant that they had not driven a torpedo into the vessel and scuttled it they might be right. But if they had introduced Measures which would stop the machinery of the ship or had covered the deck with a large amount of wreckage from the fire of the artillery, then, he said, they had waterlogged it if they had not altogether wrecked it. [Cries of "No!"] This was particularly the case with regard to the Tenure Clauses, which formed almost the most important part of the Bill in the eyes of the Irish occupiers. The Bill had been amended in the four important matters relating to turbary, the money limit on the Pasture Clauses, the town parks, and the restrictions on the Courts from taking into consideration the occupation right of the sitting tenant. Those four changes, he conceived, were very deadly in their effect on the operation of the tenure principle. He did not speak in any way on the part of the Irish representatives or on the part of the Irish tenants, but he could not conceive that those who represented the tenants in another place would be able to accept the Amendments, in consequence not only of what they had said in another place, but of their pledges to their constituents. He thought that was a very grave matter. It was a grave matter to offer to a country, or to a large body of people in it, a Measure which they repudiated, disliked, and in no way accepted. From the point of view of those who were against giving self-government to Ireland, that seemed to him to be a very dangerous proceeding, and one entirely opposed to sound policy. It might be that many of those who wished, like himself, that a more extensive system of self-government should be given to Ireland might find a solid argument in the proceedings in their Lordships' House; but though he firmly adhered to all the views he ever held on that subject, he did not share that opinion with regard to this Bill. He desired that the benefit of the fresh legislation should be extended as soon as possible to the Irish people, and he therefore regretted that those great changes had been introduced. One very remarkable thing was to be noted in regard to this Debate. He regretted that the Prime Minister was not then present, because he must refer to him in connection with a point of considerable importance. It seemed to him a very strange and remarkable thing that when one of the principal Measures, if not the largest Measure, of the Session, was proposed in Parliament by Her Majesty's Government, the Prime Minister of the country, who had such enormous influence in directing its policy, had not said a word on the subject. The Secretary of State for War, in introducing the Measure, compared himself to a tame elephant endeavouring to allure the Irish landlords into the in-closure. He was afraid that, notwithstanding the great moderation, ability, and skill which the noble Marquess had shown in conducting the Measure, he had not succeeded in capturing them. There were others besides the Irish landlords who had to be convinced on this subject. There were some, no doubt, even in the Cabinet, and above all there was the noble Marquess the Prime Minister, for if they called to mind speeches of his they would remember that he had— in the strong language he was capable of using—denounced in former days land legislation after the Bills of 1870 and 1881. It would have been instructive to have heard the reasons that had induced the noble Marquess to support this Measure. It would have been very useful to all of them, and especially so to that large number of English supporters of the noble Marquess who had on this occasion remained absent from the House, and had refused to follow the standard he had raised. He did not know whether the Prime Minister could have persuaded the Irish landlords, but he felt sure that if he had given the arguments that had induced him—at one time the stern and strong opponent of this legislation—to adopt this Measure, it would have done much to induce his supporters to follow him. He was aware that this was not the last occasion when the Bill would come before them. He did not know what Her Majesty's Government would do when the Amendments went down to the House of Commons, but he sincerely hoped and trusted that they would, as far as possible, maintain all the great principles involved in the Measure, and that, when the Bill came back, after the Commons' remarks on their Lordships' Amendments, they would show a firm front and try to carry it in its original shape. He should deeply regret if this were not done. He felt that if their Lordships adhered to their Amendments, they would place themselves in a very false position. Ought it to be said that their Lordships' House, which was a House of landlords, dealt in a matter of this sort entirely in the interests of the landlords, and in that way had refused to meet what was considered to be a grievance of the Irish tenants and submitted for their approval by a Conservative Government? If they adhered to that course they would be incurring what, no doubt, would be a serious danger, not only to Ireland, but to the independence and strength of their Lordships' House.


said he could not allow the Third Reading of the Bill to pass without saying a few words on behalf of himself and those with whom he had worked in the course of the passage of this Measure. The noble Earl who had just sat down had alluded to a letter which he had read in that morning's papers signed by himself and other Irish landlords. The noble Earl said that in that letter they disclaimed any idea of wrecking the Bill. He indorsed that statement most heartily—["Hear, hear!"]—on behalf of himself and those with whom he was working. They had always said they would have welcomed a Bill which was calculated to be of benefit to Ireland, and which would have acted justly to all classes of the community. So far from wrecking the Bill, they flattered themselves they had gone far to remedy the gross imperfections with which on many points it bristled when it came up to their Lordships' House. If there was one person who had gone a long way towards losing the Bill it was the noble Earl, for were the advice he had given to his friends in the House of Commons—the Nationalist Members—followed, the Bill would be wrecked. He trusted that advice would not be followed, but that the Members of the House of Commons would note and appreciate the fact that the Bill was sent back to them in a shape in which it would at least give satisfaction to a certain section of the community, and that was the vast majority of their Lordships' House, and it certainly did not give satisfaction to anyone when it entered the portals of this House. He had hoped Her Majesty's Government would have met some of the proposals he and his Friends made more cordially than they did. It would, for instance have been gracious on the part of the Government to have acceded to their request in regard to Clause 1, and not have forced them to go to a Division. The House of Commons virtually accepted the principle that the Sub-Commissioners should specify their reasons for granting the enormous reductions of rent, but the details were never entered into, because the Bill was hurried through the House of Commons in a most unjustifiable manner. When it came up to their Lordships it was in a crude condition, and absolutely devoid of those safeguards which not only their Lordships, but the House of Commons and the country, had a right to expect and demand. He therefore maintained that the Division on Clause 1 must be adhered to. Upon that clause the Government simply did what it was their duty to do, and he and his Friends declined to accept the alteration made as any concession whatever to the landowners. ["Hear, hear!"] The Government themselves, recognising the dangerous and mischievous character of Clause 8, which dealt with turbary, withdrew the clause, and substituted for it a clause of a less mischievous and less hurtful character. As to Clause 30, too, the Government made no concession to the landowners of Ireland. In the Debate on the Second Reading he told the Government that though the Purchase Clauses of the Bill were intended to be attractive, they would absolutely kill purchase if they were allowed to stand unamended. The omission of the clause, therefore, was no concession to him and his friends, but it was a real benefit to the country, and to those tenants whom the Government proposed to benefit. Clause 39 was one of great importance; he believed the Government regarded it as the most important one in the Bill. What did he and his Friends do in respect of that clause? They made a concession to the Government; they were conciliatory. They, however, knew full well that there was an enormous number of people who looked with the gravest apprehension, he might say the greatest terror, at the manner in which they anticipated the Bill would work. They conceded to the Government a principle of which they greatly disapproved. They permitted the Government to carry a clause which embraced the principle of compulsory sale or purchase. Never before had that principle been advanced in their Lordships' House. He maintained that, so far, the concessions had been all on their side. He would like the noble Marquess to tell them what concessions he considered he had made to them. Then he came to the clause proposing to raise the rateable value from £50 to £100. They divided against that clause because they believed that it was contrary to the principles of the Act of 1881. They did not know why the Government of the present day should seek to infringe the Act of 1881 by admitting to the benefit of the Fair Rent Courts a certain class of the community whom Mr. Gladstone went out of his way to exclude. The noble Earl said he had always wished the tenants to take advantage of the Fair Rent Courts. Why, then, did he not insist upon such a clause being inserted in the Act of 1881? Mr. Gladstone gave his reasons for not admitting those over £50, and Mr. Parnell declared it was unnecessary to admit them. All he and those who acted with him asked was that the matter should remain as it was under the Act of 1881. The noble Earl alluded to the question of town parks. They divided on that question because they were assured by Lord Macnaghten that were the clause to be carried as it stood, town parks would be abolished. Their action throughout had been reasonable and conciliatory. To-day they had not-divided upon a single Amendment, but had done their utmost, he would not say to perfect the Measure, because it was not a perfect Measure, but to remedy the defects with which the Bill came to their Lordships' House. He trusted that their Lordships, having taken up a line upon certain points of the Bill, which they considered of vital importance, would not be induced to give way on those points. [Cheers.] It might be said—it had been said by the noble Earl—they were trying to wreck the Bill. They were not crying to wreck the Bill. They desired to see it accepted in another place, but if alterations were made in another place which their Lordships considered to be unjust to any section of the community in Ireland, or which would render unworkable those parts of the Bill which they thought they had made workable, then he could only trust their Lordships would adhere to the action they had taken during the past week. ["Hear, hear!"] He sincerely trusted to see the Measure placed on the Statute-book, but if the Bill was not carried into law it would not be the fault of those who had the real benefit and happiness of Ireland at heart. [Cheers.]


said he rose principally to express his very deep regret that his noble Friend had made perhaps a premature, and, at any rate, a very strong appeal to the House to adhere to the Amendments which they had moved, whatever might be their fate in another place. The noble Marquess said that he did not wish to wreck the Bill, but he and his noble Friends had shown themselves so powerful in the House that, full of their exuberant vigour, like young lions at play, they were more destructive than they understood. He felt very sure that if some of the Amendments made by their Lordships were disagreed with in another place, and were insisted on by the House of Lords, they would succeed in wrecking the Bill. It was a source of great regret to him that except on one solitary occasion he had been unable to vote in the same Lobby with the noble Lords who were landowners in Ireland. He voted with them on the first Amendment, because it seemed impossible to vote against it. But as to some of the Amendments—especially that lowering the letting value from £100 to ££50—it was beyond his comprehension how any Irish landlord could think them desirable either for the country or for any individual landlord. The noble Marquess said that what he objected to was that the Government were departing from the principles of the Act of 1881. The noble Marquess seemed to forget that he was not living in 1881 now, and he paid no attention whatever to the imperfections which the last 15 years had shown to exist in the Act of 1881. He himself did not approve of anything in the Act of 1881; but it was the duty of any sensible man to accept the legislation of 15 years ago; and, if it were found not to work smoothly in some respects, to remove the defects. He could not conceive how anyone could suppose that it could be an advantage to Ireland, or anything but a disadvantage to the landowners in Ireland, that there should be a small class of tenants excluded from the Bill to which all their friends and neighbours were admitted. Everyone of such excluded tenants must be a centre of discontent. He had never been able to see what the harm was in this Bill as it came to the House, except in some very few details. Noble Lords had failed to point out anything which would have caused any serious damage to Irish landowners. Certainly there was nothing to do half the damage to landowners which would be done if this Bill did not become law. Much of the Bill would be of great advantage to the landowners, because peace, quiet and contentment in Ireland was as beneficial to them as to any other class. He sincerely hoped that his noble Friends would very seriously consider their position should the Bill come back to the House in a materially different shape. If they persisted in these Amendments, they would do great damage to the power and reputation of the House of Lords. That House had a great reserve of force and power, which could be used with good effect—as it was used recently—for saving the State. But that reserve ought not lightly to be frittered away. It would not add to the strength or reputation of the House or to the affection with which it was regarded by the country if this Bill were lost because a number of noble Lords, all interested in Irish land, had insisted on Amendments which could not be accepted by those representing the tenants in the House of Commons. If the Bill were wrecked great injury would be done to the small owners in Ireland—the very class whom noble Lords desired to benefit. Two things were of great importance in Irish land legislation—to facilitate purchase, to return through purchase to a sound system of land tenure as soon as possible; and to maintain a great number of the present landowning class in Ireland as possible. If this Bill did not pass, the consequences in Ireland would be anything but what could be wished.


said that Earl Spencer had referred to their Lordships as a House of landlords. No doubt most of them were landlords; but some of them were representative Peers of Ireland, and of those he was the senior Peer. He wished to say most emphatically that he and the other Irish Representative Peers did not consider themselves as merely representing themselves or the landlords of Ireland, but felt bound, to the best of their ability, to represent all the people of Ireland. Of course, many of the people differed from them in religion and politics, but there were many subjects common to all, on which they represented the people's opinions as well as their own. As to the new turbary clause which the Government had brought up, he did not think it mischievous in any way, and believed that it would be very useful. As to the Town Parks Clause, if he had thought that the intention of Her Majesty's Government would be carried out in the way in which the drafting of the clause indicated, he should have been quite willing to see it accepted. But the House was assured by the noble and learned Lord who some years ago drafted the clause defining town parks, that if the clause in the Bill were accepted there would he no more town parks in Ireland. That would be a serious thing, not only for the owners, but for the towns; and the House was quite justified, failing a safe definition, in rejecting the clause. As to the £50 limit, all he would say was that if, for reasons of public policy, Parliament thought it right to transfer the property of one person, to whom it had been expressly reserved, to another person, compensation ought to be paid. If one of these £50 tenants had a road cut through his holding he would be ready enough to claim compensation. He had never desired to wreck the Bill, and he had never for one moment since the Bill was introduced into the House of Commons believed that it was in danger in either House. He hoped it would pass in the form most consistent with justice to both parties. It might be received with disappointment by some tenants who had expected more than they were ever likely to get, but he was sure that the reasonable men among them would see, when it came into operation, that they received substantial benefit from it.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.