and where the tenant was not able to able to give any valuable consideration pay all the sum for his holding, he for that joint share in the future partmight pay a part of it, and add any such nership, which was the true characconsiderations as he could show in the ter of the custom which the Bill was way of improvements where executed about to make. They had nothing to by him, or which he undertook to exe-give. The Ulster tenant gave, or bad cute. But there was at first no reference given, money. The tenant in the South to any right arising out of the claim for might give money, if he had it, or he compensation for disturbance under the might make it up by improvements 3rd clause of the Land Act. That was which he had himself put on the land ; suggested to the authors of the Long- but if he had neither money nor imfield scheme by the hon. and learned provements, the difficulty arose-What Member for Meath (Mr. Sullivan), and was he to sell under the clause for free that was the germ of the idea which sale ? The Prime Minister, in his was now to be used for the purpose of opening statement, said that the ascreating a tenant right over a great part sumption underlying all his argument of Ireland where no such custom had was that the tenant should have somehitherto prevailed. He must thank the thing to sell. But what was it that House for patiently hearing his attempt the tenant had in all cases to sell ? Of to place the arguments against the Bill course, Parliament, if it liked, might in a popular form; but he believed he take from the Irish landlords a certain had started objections which, if fully and proportion of the property which was fairly answered, would give more infor-theirs, and confer it on the tenants; but mation to the House than they had at if they did that, the landlords must be present. What was the difficulty which compensated. That was quite clear. If lay in the way of extending to other that was to be the intention and prinparts of Ireland the Ulster tenant right ciple of that Bill, let it be acknowledged when it was attempted to introduce it openly and fairly; let it be done in such as a rival plan to that of the Land a way that the landlords might have an Act of 1870? It was again and again opportunity of submitting to that House suggested-indeed, it was on such an and to the people of England their alternative scheme, if he remembered claims for compensation. He thanked rightly, that the division on the second the House exceedingly for their attenreading of the Land Bill was taken. tion. He was afraid he had taken The late Sir John Gray took a divi- longer than he ought; but the Bill sion, he believed, on that very point. deserved, and would no doubt receive, But what was the difficulty which lay | full explanation on the points he had in the way of extending the Ulster raised. If those points were clearly extenant right to the rest of Ireland ? Mr. plained by the Government, he believed Chichester Fortescue had said

it would greatly facilitate the progress “ In the next place, the Ulster tenants who of the measure. possess these claims had actually paid sums Mr. A. M. SULLIVAN said, he was of money for the enjoyinent of their holdings sorry if, just now, he appeared to stand on entering into possession. What I wish to between ihe House and the right hon. suggest for consideration is whether it is pos. sible, by the mero words of a statute, and by and learned Gentleman, who had conthe tiat of Parliament, to create such a custom tributed to the debate a speech marked as this? For in-tance, you can give a tenant by his usual ability and by more than who has paid a large sum of money "pon enter his wonted moderation. He, however, ing his holding a similar claim upon leaving it, and we do this whenever the case arises all over

was desirous of offering a few words, Ireland. But can you give a tenint who has chiefly in reply to some observations of puid nothing upon entering his holding the the hon. Member for Galway County same claim as you give to a tenant who has paid (Mr. Mitchell Henry), who had now a large sum of money!"

gone to seek that repose which many And the Prime Minister spoke to the hop. Members were seeking during the same effect. The present measure pur- earlier portion of his address. It was ported to be founded upon the Ulster only when the hon. Gentleman turned Custom; but the fact was that, unfor- from a really sensible and practical distunately, the rest of Ireland was not so cussion of the Bill to an attack upon his wealthy as Clster, and there were a fellow-countrymen that the Houso waked multitude of tenants who might not be up; and of four hon. Gentleman who

[Sixth Night.)

were slumbering on the Bench before I would invite his hon. Friend to ask him, only one—the hon. and learned himself this question, Where would Member for Donegal-remained imper- that people be to-day but for the Land vious to that portion of the speech. It League-where would the Land Queswas very acceptable to many hon. Mem- tion be in this House but for the action bers to find the debate interrupted and of the knot of men whom his hon. Friend precious time wasted by a swinging at condemned ? He had the pleasure of tark on the Land League and its Repre- supporting his hon. Friend in 1874, sentatives in that House. But he should 1875, and 1876, in those debates when have expected that the hon. Member his hon. Friend propounded to deaf ears for Galway County (Mr. Mitchell Henry) a more moderate proposition than the would have remembered two things on Bill now before the House; and he that subject--first, that he was address-would only ask, if calm reason and fair ing an audience who, not from any argument could prevail with all this wilful prejudice or love of injustice, but passion in Ireland, why did it not prefrom very natural and easily-understood vail at that period ? But inasmuch as proclivities, would cheer to the echo the course which they then took availed any statement representing in the most them nothing, could they wonder that damaging light the words and actions the people of Ireland should at last have of his hon. Friends around him. Neither risen in the manner they had done, and in this House nor out of it had he (Mr. brought the land agitation to the front A. M. Sullivan) ever attempted to jus- of the British nation? However, he tify all that had been said and done in hoped that, notwithstanding the very the name of the Irish National Land provocative nature of the speech of his League. He could not do it, any more hon. Friend, that the debate would be than he could set himself to vindicate conducted to its close without recrimi. the action or the language of some men nations. Up to the present, beginning who seemed bereft almost of reason by with the speech of the right hon. and wrong and outrage and despair. That learned Gentleman (Mr. Gibson), the deagitation, which to many hon. Gen- bate had been conducted with a modetlemen representing English counties ration and fairness that never could have seemed so wicked and so censurable, been apprehended, considering how comhe had never looked upon at all as an bustible a subject they had had to disordinary political movement.

When he recollected the passions garded it rather as an angry, maddened intiamed in his own country, the deep uprising of the people, turning at last, pecuniary interests involved, not only in after long years of bitter suffering and Ireland but here, and the natural prejugrievous wrong. His hon. Friend was dices of classes in this country who were too accurate a student of European unable to comprehend the question as it history to deny this fact—that never in should be studied in Ireland, he conany country had a large population fessed himself astonished at the spirit, taken a course like that, although it the fair spirit on the whole, in which might result in the most beneficent cir- the debate had been conducted. He recumstances, without deplorable scenes, minded the House that no one who had language to be reprobated, and actions spoken upon this subject, either inside to be regretted. He advised his hon. that House or out of it-although the Friend to take a larger and a broader Bill had been severely attacked from the view of what was now passing in Ireland, side of the hon. Member for Galway and to hope with him (Mr. Sullivan)- County (Mr. Mitchell Henry), and from --while regarding unfavourably much the side of the Opposition Bench-had that had passed in that country, but re- attempted to say that nothing should be garding it more as a matter of misfor- done in this matter. Let hon. Members tune than of accusation against men who realize the fact that the question had to had at last taken into their own rude and do with the actual practical politics of rough and passionate hands the duty of the hour—with the circumstances around setting themselves right. He knew his them—and that it had become a neceshon. Friend too well not to know that sity for Her Majesty's Government to underneath his occasional ebullitions of come forward with some proposition for warm temper there existed a kindly settling the terrible problem that had so nature and a warm heart; and he long decimated Ireland. There were

Mr. A. M. Sullivan

He re


three ways of solving it. First, there be paid for the improvements effected on was the plan of freedom of contract, as his farm, if evicted, and on the declarait was called. Now, his hon. and learned tion of the Commissioner that those imFriend the Member for Chatham (Mr. provements had been wise and necessary. Gorst) cheered that observation, and He asked would hon. Gentlemen accept approved of freedom of contract—that that proposition now? Why, they all was to say, that the landlord and tenant advocated it to-day; but when the proshould be left face to face to make the position of Lord Stanley was made they best terms they could one with another, opposed it in a body, the opposition no law intervening. Another propo- being led by the Marquess of Clanricardo sition was the compulsory expropriation and Lord Londonderry. A Petition was of all landlords--sweeping landlordism signed against it as being Communistic away as an institution of the country. and confiscatory by a long list of noble That, he said, was the demand of a large Lords, the Predecessors of those who last portion-of the immense majority-of year threw out the Compensation for the people of Ireland that day. Her Ma- | Disturbance Bill. He appealed to his jesty's Government seemed to think it hon. Friend to recollect that if the abolipossible to find a middle course between tion of landlordism was asked for to-day, these two, and brought forward a Bill the blame lay with that class who rewhich avoided compulsory expropria- sisted in former times every humble tion, but did not subscribe to the doc- effort at reform, cried out « Commutrine of freedom of contract between nism!” when there was no Communism; landlord and tenant. As to freedom of and who now cried “ Wolf, wolf!" when contract, he could assure his hon. and nobody would help them. Again, on learned Friend that his brother Con- the 11th June, 1846, Lord Lincoln, then servatives from Ireland had long since Chief Secretary for Ireland, brought in given up all idea of establishing the an almost similar proposition to that of latter, and that it was all too late for Lord Stanley. He would remind the Conservative Gentlemen in that House occupants of the Front Opposition Bench to start that doctrine. Those hon. Gen- that he was now quoting the acts of tlemen came there, microscope in hand, Conservative Statesmen, and that when so to speak, and examined the provisions they talked of objecting to the setting of this Bill from the standpoint of free- up of a tribunal between the landlord dom of contract, and upon which theme and the tenant, their own Party had they were ready to say many witty given up the question. Lord Lincoln's things. But there was no freedom of con- proposition was that an assistant bartract relating to land recognized by the rister should take the place of the State statutes; and he repeated, they spoke functionary. But the Bill was opposed too late, because, so long ago as in both Houses of Parliament by the 1845, Lord Stanley was the first in Representatives of the Irish landlords, that House to make a proposition who were only too successful by means which had led on to the position in of the cry of Communism and confiscawhich they now stood with regard to the tion in carrying with them the vast maIrish Land Question. He asked those jority in that House against the demands hon. Members who came forward with of simple justice. Coming now to the the freedom of contract proposition now proposition of the Government, he deto study what had been done in the Land sired to say that he had never known a Question since 1835, and a very few public measure of the same magnitude hours' study in the Library would show so completely mis-read and so largely them that freedom of contract had gone misrepresented by two opposing classes. beyond recall. In 1845, which was atter Anyone reading the letters of noble the Devon Commission, Lord Stanley Lordsard listening to the sincere speeches proposed for the first time in that House of his hon. Friends from Ireland might that a public functionary should inter- exclaim, with Pilato-"What is truth?” vene between the weak and the strong The main principle of the Bill—for they -between the landlord and tenant in were really upon the question of the Ireland—and his plan was that there second reading and not in Committeeshould be a State Commissioner to judge was that an equitable tribunal should be of and to authorize improvements etfected established in Ireland to stand between by the tenant, so that the tenant might the weak and the strong; to do equity

L Sixth Night.]

between landlord and tenant. And if the if he could furnish a Return showing tribunal or tribunals were such as would exactly what had been the actual facts, command the confidence of the people of so that the House might contrast with Ireland, instead of being as they were uni- them the calculations of noble Lords versally reprobated, he believed, in his and hon. Gentlemen. The right hon. soul, that this Bill, with the emendations Gentleman was not able to furnish the it was likely to receive in Committee, Return; but, after many days' search, he would, in the hands of such tribunals, (Mr. Sullivan) had obtained the figures. change the whole surface of Irish society. The calculation at the time of passing The practice with regard to the Govern- the Act of 1870 was that £120,000,000 ment proposition was to treat what was would be transferred from the landlords possible under the Bill as actual occur to the tenants- £6,000,000 a-year-or 9 rences. For instance, his right hon. and reduction in the value of landed prolearned Friend the Member for the Uni- perty to the extent of one-third. Those versity of Dublin (Mr. Gibson) had told calculations were made upon the assumpthe House that because tenant right in tion that, at a low average, every one of Ulster was sometimes bought up to 28 the 600,000 tenants in Ireland would years' purchase, 28 years' purchase obtain from the Court £100 for improvewould necessarily be allowed in estimat- ments, and £100 for disturbance. He ing the value of the tenancy under this asked if Irish landed property had come Bill. On the other hand, some of his down in value after the passing of the hon. Friends opposite said that under it Act of 1870 ? They had a Return for the nothing was to be had except by means years 1871, 1879, 1873, included in a of a law-suit. Suppose the case of a Blue Book, without any totals, from Bill to confer trial by jury upon any which it was impossible to get any in. country; would it not be a monstrous formation ; but he had obtained the argument to urge against it, that a per- totals for every county in Ireland of the son might be charged by another, com- number of cases in which claims had pelled to go into Court and stand his been made for improvements and distrial, and absolutely convicted by 12 turbance, together with the amounts demen, although innocent of the charge? creed during that period. There were, Any man who sought to have rights in all, 1,539 cases brought before the conferred upon him by law, must, of Land Courts; the total yearly average course, take his chance of having those number was513, and the average forevery legal rights contested. This system of county was just 16 cases in the year. Now, treating possibilities as actualities had the highest number of claims sent in was been carried to an unwarrantable extent from the county of Ulster; the lowest from in criticizing the Bill before the IIouse. Kilkenny, which sent six; and the total The junior Member for the University amount which might have been awarded of Dublin (Mr. Plunket) had reverted by the Land Court to the tenants was to one of the errors furnished by the £461,149. According to the calculations speech of his Colleague. He had made of 1870, all that was possible or sure to a calculation to show that the landlords be awarded. In the present case, also, would be robbed. He (Mr. Sullivan) with the senior Member for the Univer. had seen something of this kind in the sity of Dublin, the maximum of possipublic Press; and hon. Members, he be- bility was to him the minimum of lieved, had also heard something in that actuality. Well, the tenants might have House of the millions of money which claimed from the Land Courts under the the Bill was to transfer from the pockets Act of 1870, £461,149 ; but how much of the landlords to those of the tenants. did they get ?- £41,640. The tenants One might say, with the character in who came into the Land Court, instead The Vicar of Wakefield_“I think I have of obtaining £200 each, obtained an heard all that before.” Ingenious cal- average of only £27_58. each. Thereculations had been put forward to fore, he put it to the House, whether, in show that £120,000,000 were to be that respect, the Act had not been a carried from the pockets of the Irish mockery, a delusion, and a snare, belandlords to the pockets of the Irish cause the average sum awarded had not tenants by the Irish Land Act of 1870. even paid the law costs of the wretched Now, he had asked the Chief Secretary tenants ? He knew very well that not for Ireland at the opening of the debate one of these cases could have been liti

Ur. A. Y. Sullivan

gated in the Court for £27 58.-he knew, for £100, which, if bid for in the market that twice £27 58. would not pay the to-morrow, would fetch £150—nay, £160. wretched tenant's costs. The difference The Land Court, under Clause 7, must between the costs as taxed and paid first estimate what was the fair letting must be taken into account in the value of this farm as it stood, adding average, and that £27 58. sent every together the two amounts—the amount tenant out of Court bitterly bewailing of the landlord's fair interest in the farm, the day he had trusted to it. So much and the amount of the tenant's fair for the dreadful calculation of the Front / interest. The sum of these two amounts Opposition Bench. But they had treated | added together would be the fair rent of the House to another-and he had heard the farm to an outsider or an incoming it to-night-he referred to the famous tenant. From the sum of these two conundrum of the Conservatives—“ If amounts they would simply take what the property is not to come out of the belonged to the tenant and what belandlord's pocket, where is it to como longed to the landlord. He would give from?” Clause 7 had been the chief an illustration, though he knew how bone of contention. The right hon. and weary the House would be, especially learned Member who had just sat down at this hour of the night (12.45 a.m.), of (Mr. Plunket) had been as kind and figures. A farm for which £150 would complimentary to him (Mr. A. M. Sul- be given was let at £100. The Land livan) as he was usually genial and kind Court would be entitled to say—“Under to them all, and had done him the honour Clause 7, where there are unexhausted to quote from a pamphlet he had pub. , and permanent improvements of the Jished, giving what had seemed to him an value of £250 on a farm like this, the analyzation of the proposals of the Bill, tenant, by reason of the land having and to allude to what he had given as been in the occupation of his ancestors an example of the way Clause 7 would and himself for 100 or 200 years, is work. He would undertake to answer entitled to another £250 as good will to the best of his ability, clearly, the for the occupancy of the farm.” That points which the right hon. and learned would make £500, and 5 per cent on Gentleman and his much rospected Col- that would come to £25, which, being league (Mr. Gibson) had put forward on deducted from the £150, would leave Clause 7. The hon. Member for Cork £125 as a fair rent for the occupying County (Mr. Shaw) said that under | tenant, whereas £150 would be a fair Clause 7 rents would be raised in Ireland. rent for the incoming tenant, because Now, whilst some rents would be cut he would have to pay both the interest down, any rent which was under a fair rent of the landlord and the interest of would be raised to a fair rent by Clause 7. the tenant. In this case the tenant Any rent which was a rent on which a would have his rent raised by £25 tenant was charged for his own outlay a-year under Clause 7, because the or interest in the farm would be cut land was owned by a live-and-letdown. He would show how that would live landlord, who only asked a small be done. Let them take the case of a rent. But then take the case--and there farm let by a fair, kindly-disposed, live- were, unfortunately, ten of them for one and-let-live landlord for £100 a year, of those he had just quoted-where the yet which, by reason of the tenant's landlord had screwed up the rent by interest, would fetch in the public market, racking and confiscatory additions, and to-morrow, £150—and at a fair price, the farin was let for £160. Everyone £150. There were numbers of such on the Front Opposition Bench knew farmers in Ireland, for, thank God, that there were hundreds of such cases there were some good landlords there, in Ireland-cases where the rents were though they were, alas! too few. On over 60 per cent above Griffith’s valuathis point he did not wish to be invidious; tion--nay, was not the story common but he saw a noble Member of the Go- enough in every county ir Ireland, “We vernment on the Treasury Bonch at this are paying two Griffith's valuations ?" moment, on the Irish estates of whose Well, in the case of this rack-rented father, he thought, he could find hun- farm, the tribunal would say, as it said dreds of tenants who held their farms at in the other case-" £150 would be a fair rents. Take such a case as that he fair rent for even an incoming tenant to was describing. Here was a farm let pay for this farm." The tenant had the

[Sixth Night.]

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