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would be that everything would be put | not agree with him. Nor was it easy for on the House of Lords and on Parlia- one placed as he was to even approach ment, and the country would be still the treatment of this subject with perfect more agitated next year, and life would calmness. He could not forget what had be more unsafe than it was now. He happened during the last 12 months. knew what it was to live among an ex- He could not forget that little more than cited population in Ireland. Until lately a year ago there was in Ireland comhis own people had treated him like a parative tranquillity, although that unbrother, and nothing but words of bless- happy country, and the poor people ing had any member of his family re- there, were afflicted by severe distress. ceived from them. But now that part Twelve months had passed away; and of the country was stained by agra- now, in the midst of a good season, rian crime, and had been the scene of there was something, even at this day, some of the foulest deeds. The truth approaching civil war in Ireland. Be was, the Celtic nature was something lieving, as he did, that however excellike the Hindoo nature. The mild and lent the intentions of the Government, gentle Hindoo, who took care of children it was to their conduct that must be and performed domestic offices for the attributed the excesses which had disEuropeans in India, when once excited graced Ireland—to their weakness, to at the time of the Mutiny, was guilty of the faults of their Administration, that the most dreadful atrocities. And so it it was
“hit-him-and-hold-him was that the Celtic nature, affectionate, policy which had exasperated and excited clinging, religious, was yet exceedingly the Irish people-believing all that, he excitable; and thus the more responsi- said, when he was called upon calmly bility rested on those who, knowing those to discuss the Bill now offered to them qualities, made use of their superior for their acceptance, it was not an inposition, and of their education, and of vitation easy to accept. Furthermore, the money which they wrung from the he believed that there were within the hard earnings of the poor, to excite Bill propositions and principles which them to do deeds which were foreign to were vicious in themselves, and disastheir nature and dishonouring to the trous in their consequences to those Irish character.
whom he was sent there to represent; MR. PLUNKET said, he would not and he was convinced that their ultimate stand more than a short time between results must prove injurious even to the the House and the eloquent speech which tenantry themselves. It was presented they would, no doubt, soon hear from the to them in this guise "Something hon. and learned Member for Meath must be done; will you accept the re(Mr. A. M. Sullivan). But, under all the sponsibility of rejecting this measure ?" circumstances of the case, representing So that one felt it was almost equally as he did classes in Ireland who had not dangerous to support the Bill or oppose many to speak for them in that Assembly, it, to accept or reject it. Besides these he was sure the House would kindly in- difficulties, this measuro was proposed at dulge him for a brief space while he a time when whatever was done would offered some observations in a spirit, he conferthe least advantages on the people, was sorry to say, less complimentary on who were not in a frame of mind and tem. the whole to the Bill under discus- per to receive the Bill in that spirit in sion than previous speeches which had which, no doubt, it was brought forward been delivered that evening. The hon. by the Government. Nevertheless, he Member for the County Cork (Mr. Shaw), admitted the gravity of the crisis, and in his conciliatory and discreet address, he should endeavour, as far as in him had invited all Irish Members, of what lay, to approach it in no partizan or ever Party, to join with him in facilitat- factious spirit; it was, therefore, to him ing the passing of that measure, which a great satisfaction that there was a very seemed to him calculated to confer a considerable portion of the Bill which he, great advantago on their common coun- for one, could heartily support. In the try, and to effect a final settlemont. If first place, as regarded the scheme for the he could join with the hon. Momber in creation of peasant proprietors. He had that opinion, he should indeed be pre always been a supporter of that policy. parod to make great efforts for so high a He believed that it would give solidity purpose; but, unfortunately, he could and steadiness to society in Ireland
ar, Mitchell Henry
if there were an increase of yeoman of transferring people from Ireland to farmers. There were, of course, con- America. But under this Bill he hoped siderable difficulties in the way. One it would be very different. They ought great advantage which he had always to be enabled to take with them into seen in the proposal was that it would their new homes the habits and praccome into operation at the time when es- | tices of their old homes. With respect tates were about to be sold. He did not to emigration, he agreed with what mean to say that this was an experiment had fallen from his hon. Friend that likely to turn out well in every case. It it was the only means of dealing with was, however, just at the moment when that deep-seated evil which had been properties were changing hands that the described by one of the witnesses ex. scheme, which was so honourably con- amined by the Bessborough Commisnected with the name of the Chancellor sion as the “ cancer of disaffection in of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Act of Ireland.” It was in those districts along 1870, and which was now introduced the seaboard of the Atlantic where the somewhat altered into the present Bill, people were crowded together in the would come into operation; and he most wretched circumstances of poverty thought it was well worth while to run and destitution that the agitation was some risk to try such an experiment at first begun-rather more than a year buch a time as that. He thought that ago—and there it grew and spread with advantages were now offered for doing the greatest vigour. He was sure that so which certainly had not arisen before; House was well acquainted with the for when an estate came into the market descriptions given of the miserable state they might find a great many tenants of the Irish people who were massed who were solvent and capable in every along the West, North-West, and Southway of becoming yeoman farmers, but West of Ireland. But, no matter how they would find also a certain number of vividly those things were described, weaker brethren-tenants too poor to unless figures were given, Englishmen enable them to achieve that position. The felt, he was afraid, a certain degree of latter class could not be and ought not to suspicion with regard to the eloquent be converted into peasant proprietors. statements made by his countrymen, But under the Bill, as he understood and, therefore, he had been at the pains it, the same Commissioners who were to of putting together a few figures which, have charge of this business of creating he thought, would a little astonish the peasant proprietors were also to have House. He would take the County under their charge opportunities for Mayo, whose people he knew well. In carrying out a great scheme of emigra-ordinary times they were a light-hearted, tion. Now, if they could induce a cer- easy-going people, and wonderfully patain number of families representing tient considering their hard lot. He these very small holdings to emigrate, wished to compare for a few minutes they would not only relieve the estate the state of society in Mayo with from overcrowding, but they would be the state of things in Armagh. He able to add the farins of those who went took these two counties, because in both to the holdings of those who remained, there was an immense number of small and thus enable the latter to become holdings, the percentage in Armagh solvent yeoman farmers. He thought being even greater than that in Mayo. that would be a great advantage, and In the former the percentage was 67-8; he rejoiced exceedingly to know that the in Mayo, 57'4. Yet in one county there opposition which had been raised against was comparative prosperity, in the other emigration seemed to be fading away. great distress. He wished to call attenHe fully respected the objections enter. tion to this and other special circumtained by some to emigration under the stances, because the first idea people had old system, because if individuals went was that if the Land Laws only were from Ireland to America they often got altered all would be well. But the lost in the great cities, and it was natural | House would now see that a mere change that those charged with their morals in the Land Laws would not have proat home felt strongly on this point. duced the comfort and contentment Also, no doubt, the circumstances under which were to be found in the one case which that emigration was conducted and not in he other. In Armagh the were very painful in the mere process percentage of waste land was 10:6, and VOL. CCLXI. (THIRD SERIES.]
in Mayo 46 of the whole land of the ment encourage it. In the parts of the county. In Armagh the average valua- Bill of which he had been speaking, he tion per acre was 26s. 9d. ; in Mayo, had very little to find fault with. But, 48. 9d.; the percentage of families en- turning from those proposals which the gaged in agricultural pursuits was, in Secretary for India had spoken of as the Armagh, 55; in Mayo, 78. In Armagh proposals which were intended to bring the percentage of those who could neither about the permanent amelioration of the read nor write was 30•4; in Mayo, 57.4. country, to those which had been deNot only that, but in Mayo there was scribed as intended to bridge over the a large proportion of migratory la- interval between the old state of the bourers who were in the habit of going things and the new, he was sorry to say, across the Channel to seek work in Eng- that giving to those parts of the Bill the land, and whose return empty-handed best attention he could, he found great last autumn had added much to the dis- difficulty in understanding them ; but, content of their districts. If those people as far as he did understand them, he emigrated to America, and especially considered that they contained principles under the scheme of the Bill to Canada, which were vicious in their character, they might exchange their miserable and would be fatal in their consequence. condition for one
one of happiness and With the permission of the House, he prosperity. With the permission of the would make a few observations upon House, he would read a passage from a them. His chief object was to fix the letter from Lord Dufferin, in which the attention of the House upon one single noble Lord spoke of having seen- clause-he might say a single line of
“ An immeasurable sea of corn, clothing with the Bill. He alluded, of course, to the its golden expanse what two years before had proposal for fixing fair rents, and what been a desolate prairie-the home of the lynx he wanted was to obtain, if possible, a and the jackal-simply through the exertions clear statement of the meaning of that of a small Russian colony that had run up their shanties in that favoured land. In the proposal. Had such a statement been neighbourhood," his Lordship said, “was an forthcoming sooner much time would Irish settlement, containing many descendants have been saved. Various views of the of the cottier peasantry, who had fled from the construction to be put upon the clause Famine of 1846, now converted into happy, had been suggested, and it was imposloyal, and contented yeomen. Instinctively my mind reverted to the sights it had seen in Vayo, sible that all of them could be right. Connemara, and Galway in 1848. Strange to He hoped, therefore, that the difficulty say, the appearance of the horizon was in each would be clearly explained away before case identical. Its verge stood out against the the end of that Sitting. The construcgetting sun like the teeth of a saw ; but in Ireland this
impression was produced by the gabletion which he put upon the clause was ends of deserted cottages, in Manitoba by the the same as that propounded by the long line of corn-stacks which sheltered every right hon, and learned Gentleman the homestead."
Member for the University of Dublin It would be a wrong and cruel thing (Mr. Gibson). His right hon. and to persuade people in such a condition learned Colleague had attached a deto stay at home instead of emigrat- finite meaning to the clause, and chal. ing, so as to realize for themselves the lenged contradiction, and no contradicprosperity which he had described. tion had been offered. [The ATTORNEY Therefore, so far as that part of the pro- GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Law) disposal was concerned, he was able to give sented.] He was perfectly aware that it his most entire sympathy. As to recla- the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieumation, he would be glad to see as much tenant had said that the proposal was of it as was possible. His only fear was not a proposal to reduce the existthat it would be impossible to carry it ing rents by one-third. But that was out to any great extent with success. No not the meaning which his right hon. doubt, there was plenty of waste land in and learned Friend had attached to it. the country; but a great deal of it was His right hon. and learned Friend's conabsolutely incapablo of reclamation-struction of the clause was that “the large tracts of stony waste was impos-tenant would be at once credited as if sible to cultivate as would be the pave- he had paid a fine to the landlord for a ment of London. But, as far as it was diminution of the fair rent to the extent possible to reclaim those lands by any of one-third.” With regard to the ques. scheme, by all means let the Govern- tion of fair rent, he would like to know
how it was to be ascertained ? He would right had become something sensible. He pass by the proposed mode of ascer- wanted to know whether by the Act of taining the rent on estates where the 1870 the tenants acquired any right of Ulster Custom, or similar usages, existed; which they could dispose by sale? No though even in those cases he did not doubt, a right could be created by an understand how the clause could be en- | Act of Parliament; but he could not forced without the tenant right, in many admit that it existed at the present instances, eating up the rent altogether. time, nor could it even in theory be He wished to draw particular attention supposed to exist unless there was adto that which was provided in the case mitted to be a joint property in the land of estates on which there was no Ulster enjoyed by both the landlord, who Custom. The clause said
had bought or inherited the property, “ The tenant's interest is to be estimated with and the tenant who held the land reference to the scale of compensation for dis-i by reason of the payment of rent. turbance by this Act provided."
Surely a scale of compensation for the The scale of compensation for disturb- present landowners must be fixed if the ance was provided to compensate the matter was to be settled by Act of Parloss sustained by a tenant who had ac- liament. No one would contend that tually been ejected capriciously from his the right existed before the Act of 1870, holding. This Bill, however, said that nor would anyone hold that the right that scale was to be applied for measur- was not carefully excluded from the ing the rent of a tenant who had not clauses of that Bill. He repeated that he been evicted, was not about to be could not understand how a man could be evicted, and who, once this Bill became enabled to transfer by sale any part of law, could never be evicted. Surely another man's property, that man being there was no connection between two his landlord, unless it was done under such cases. The only explanation that I an Act which gave tenants joint prohe could give of this position was by , perty with their landlords ; and he could following up an illustration which was not take that as being in any way a
1 used by Lord Sherbrooke in the debate part of the provisions of the Act of on the Land Bill of 1870. The noble 1870. Mr. Butt, writing in his adLord, who then sat in the House of mirable treatise on this subject, saidCommons, compared this compensation
“ These illustrations appear clearly to show for disturbance to damages in an action that any principle of measurement which would for breach of promise of marriage. Let directly or indirectly introduce into the estithem assume that by Act of Parliament mate any consideration of the interest which it had been provided that in the case of the tenant had in his holding when served with
notice to quit, would be opposed to the whole a breach the damages should be assessed principle on which the Act is framed. This obup to a third of the man's property; hejection is fatal to any suggestion of measuring then asked the House to imagine that the compensation by any analogy or reference by another Bill it should be proposed have obtained for his tenant right or goodwill."
to the price which, before his eviction, he could that, in the case of no breach being committed, but, on the contrary, at the So when Mr. Butt was framing clauses moment when the marriage was about for his tenant right Bill, he said nothing to be solemnized, the lady would have about this supposed tenant right created a right to demand that a third of her by the clauses with respect to compen. husband's property should be settled sation for disturbance. In the Land Bills
lle could not anticipate introduced in 1877 and 1878, Mr. Butt the explanation that would be offered; said a fair rent was-but he thought he had a right seriously " That which a solvent and responsible tenant to ask how it was that the compensation could afford to pay fairly and without collusion for disturbance was taken as the mea for the premises, utter deducting from such rent sure of the tenant's right? In introduc- the addition to the letting value of the premises ing the Bill, the Prime Minister said by any improvements made by the tenant or his
predecessors, in respect of which the tenant on that what the tenant had a right to as quitting his farm would be entitled to compensign according to the present law was sution for his improvements under the provisions not worth giving or receiving; and of the Land Act." then proceeded to recite the scale of Another question which he would liko compensation for disturbance, observing to ask was this-Was it not necessary that under the Act of 1870 the tenant for the Court, if it was to havo reference
to the scale of compensation for dis- | but that was reason for giving turbance at all, to have reference to the such a custom the force of law. Tie maxinium of the scale ? As far as he right hon. Gentleman said that good understood, the Court could regard no- landlords allowed the custom. In certhing else. He could not understand on tain cases, no doubt, landlords in Irewhat consideration the Court could fix, land kept their rents very low ; but he so to speak, on any rung of the ladder by no means admitted that in anything of compensation but the highest. When like a majority of cases they admitted an eviction had under the Act of 1870 tenant right, even if they kept their rents actually taken place, all the circum- considerably below the highest market stances which made up the loss could price. And now it was proposed to place be realized by the Court; but this was those men under an obligation to allow a case in which there was no eviction. the tenant a share in their landlord's proWell, then, was the maximum of the perty equal to seven years' rent. Why scale to be taken ; and, if not, why not? should such an obligation be imposed? What were to be the considerations for In the case of landlords who had alwars cutting down the maximum of the scale ? | charged a low rent it might be asked The hon. and learned Member for Meath why they had never charged more? The (Mr. Sullivan) had said in his pamphlet answer was that they wanted from their explaining the Bill that if a man had tenants gratitude for favours past, cerbeen a long time in a holding that would tainly-perhaps, too, for favours to come make a difference. That might be a – because it was only by such means good reason for giving him compensa- and such influence that the tenants tion for disturbance; but the landlord could be induced to do what was best for was not going to turn him out; if he went themselves, as well as the interests of out it would be of his own free will. the landlords. Only by such pressure Suppose, in the illustration he had given could subdivision and bad farming be before, the lady were to say, “I have so prevented. For such and similar reasons long kept company with this gentleman they had often wiped off arrears of rent, that my feelings are greatly lacerated, and rather than allow tenant right to grow I claim the highest damages to soothe my on their property. And for mere comanguish.” That would be all very well mercial reasons, also, many landlords if the gentleman were leaving her; but, had kept their rents low, with the idea according to the plan of this Bill, it was that after a long period of friendly relathe lady who was leaving him—and tions with their tenantry, they might leaving the home of their married life reach a better time when, as the country all the poorer by taking this compen- advanced, it would be possible to ask a sation away. But the proposal had been full and fair rent for their land just as defended on a different ground. The men did in England. He wanted to Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. W. E. know if it was the intention of the GoForster), when speaking to his consti: vernment to take advantage of these tuents at Bradford the night before, feelings of kindness and forbearance on said that outside Ulster there was a the part of the landlord, in order to turn teuant right which, though not acknow. them into a saleable commodity, subledged by law, had been acknowledged tracting it from the saleable interest of by custom, by traditional sentiment, and the landlord ? He would refer to one by good landlords. The impression in point more, and one only. He would the mind of the Chief Secretary derived ask where the idea of tenant right came from the Report of the Bessborough from, and where it was germinated ? As Commission was that in certain parts of he understood it, it arose in this way. the country, and in certain circum- Many hon. Members would remember stances, there was that traditional senti- that when the Land Act of 1870 was passment. But surely they were not going ing through Parliament, many schemes to base the settlement of the Land Ques- were proposed which had for their object tion in Ireland on traditional sentiment. to apply the Ulster tenant right to the That would be rather a weak foundation. rest of Ireland. It was in an Amendment There was, he believed, in some islands proposed by the late Sir John Gray that a in the Pacific Ocean a traditional senti- suggestion first appeared which proposed ment in favour of cannibalism where that in parts of Ireland where there the flesh hunger was very strong, was no Ulster or corresponding custom,