try to express a supposed meaning, we , land, and when we were making a great are told we are wrong; and when we sacrifice with a view to a permanent and try another, we are told we are equally final settlement of this question. We at fault. The measure is avowedly are informed now that in those days framed with less regard to the laws of the Conservative Party was wiser than political economy than we are in the lit seems to be to-day ; that we were habit of observing in legislation, because advised in 1870 by our great Leader not we have to deal with an exceptional to oppose the settlement proposed; and state of things which makes it impossible that, moreover, when it came to work it to treat the case of Ireland as you would did not produce those formidable results treat any other case, and because it is that were foretold, but that property extremely difficult to explain the points rose in value, and every good thing hapon which a solution is to be given. pened. But why was all that? It was beWhen you bear in mind—as the hon. cause we were then deluded into the beMember for Antrim said in his excellent lief that that Act was a final settlement. speech the other day-the question as to And, whether property did rise in value how this matter will be interpreted by or not-which is a matter open to some the Court, or Commission, that will have dispute-at all events we believed that to decide on it, that will appear to be the security would be obtained, and confireal question we have to consider, and dence might very well be restored. But that will, I venture to say, keep all Ire- we cannot feel that now. I would only land in a ferment for a very consider say a few words upon what really imable time. If that is the case, do let us presses me in this matter. We are consider for a moment how important it dealing with a question which is one of is that we should address ourselves to a gravity it is impossible to exaggerate. the Bill for the purpose of endeavouring It is not a mere question as between to understand it, and seeing how far it landlord and tenant. It is not merely a will meet the evils which it is designed, | question of providing for the improveor purposes to be designed, to meet. ment and advancement of Ireland. It Hon. Gentleman get up and say-"Settle is a question which touches the whole this question once for all;" others say-peace and happiness and welfare of that “Pass this Bill, or something dreadful country, and of the whole of the United will happen ;” and others—“ You will Kingdom. It is impossible to exagbe misunderstood in Ulster if you do not gerate the importance of the question. vote for this Bill; and it is important Then, for Heaven's sake! do not let us that you should not shake confidence in apply a false remedy-a remedy that the Ulster Custom." But no one, that I will not touch the disease, and which is know of, has any wish to shake that more likely to do harm than good. What custom; we all want to confirm, and ratify, is it, after all, that Ireland requires ? It and strengthen, and bear up that custom. requires for its development the applicaWhen we come to what we may call tion of capital ; it requires the confidence the minor premiss of the argument, we which produces capital; and it requires begin to perceive its weakness. You what is still more important, energy and say—“Settle this question once for all.' wisdom in the application of that capital. We answer- " Will this Bill settle it?" | Until these are obtained it will be imYou say—“Pass this Bill, or something possible for the people of Ireland to dreadful will happen.” We answer-work out their salvation. "Will the passing of this Bill prevent pose that by any measure you can pass something dreadful happening? You you can do for the people of Ireland say—"If you do not pass the Bill, you that which they can only do for themwill shake confidence in the Ulster Cus- selves. They must themselves be pretom." We reply—“ We are anxious to pared to work with a proper spirit and ratify and strengthen that custom; but energy; and it can only be by the this Bill does not do it.” When all exercise of those great moral qualities these things are said, we cannot but re- of enterprize, self-restraint, and selfmember that very similar statements exertion, that they can become a happy were made in 1870. We were told the and contented people. Now, is the moasame thing when we were dealing delibe- sure which you are proposing well calrately and scientifically with the great culated to bring out these qualities ? I Upas tree which was overshadowing Ire- will not say—we should be not quite un

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justly accused of harshness if we were to view—to make the people owners of the say-to the people of Ireland—“We can soil—and spoke of the other portions of give you no help in these difficulties; the Bill as being only a modus rirendi you will have to struggle through them until that was done. But I very much unaided by combining energy with self-doubt, from the speech of the Prime denial.” God knows, the people of Ire- Minister, whether that is the view which land have had enough of suffering, and he takes. It would seem that he reanything we can do to help them ought garded the first part as the principal part to be done freely and liberally. For of the Bill, and that he looked for the my own part, I would not be too strict regeneration of Ireland to the alteration in observing all the principles of political of the relations between landlord and economy in this matter, if I thought tenant, and to the recognition of the that good could be done by a departure tenant's interest in the property to an from a course that might seem to be not extent which I could not gather, but properly applicable. But let us take which I understood him to say include care we are helping in the right way: all that rise in value which might be I do not in my conscience believe, and I due to the great competition for land. very much doubt that there are many I think it well that we should be made persons in this House who do believe, to understand that point, because there that the way to promote peace and seems to be considerable doubt with rehappiness in Ireland is to bring about gard to it. I do not wish to misrepreall this quarrelling, and all this con- sent the right hon. Gentleman; but we fusion in the relations between landlords understood him the other day to say and tenants. There are still points which that the expression, "fair rent at the marwe may, no doubt, carefully consider, ket rate," was a contradiction in terms, with the view of placing landlords and because the highest market rent included tenants on the best terms; but, even two things—the one being the value that then, if the changes which might result was obtained by the tenant's outlay, the be such as do not amount to a total revo- other the value acquired from the comlution in the whole state of society--if petition for land in consequence of its they do not amount to the absolute de- scarcity and the earth hunger; and he struction and overturning of what is called said the tenant had a property in both landlordism-I venture to say that many those things. Those were the expresof the smaller changes that you may sions used by the right hon. Gentleman; make will not touch the fringe of the but, if the statement be correct, when was question with which you have to deal. that property conferred ? Was it given I know there are measures pointed at by the Act of 1870, or was it an original in the 5th part of this Bill which seem possession of the tenant restored to him to me to present something of a much by that Act, or is it something that has more hopeful character; and

for my own grown up since the passing of the Act ? part I am desirous, and my Friends near Sometimes we are told, although when me are desirous, to promote as far as the Act of 1870 was passed we were led possible that portion of the measure. to believe the contrary, that even if we But, even there, we feel ourselves in con- were not aware of it, we were by that siderable doubt, because we are unable legislation actually giving this property to assure ourselves how far the Govern- to the tenant. I must say that greatly ment are really in earnest in endea- shakes our confidence as to the way in vouring to press that part of the Bill. which we are now asked to proceed. We know very well that the Chancellor For we may again be giving something of the Duchy of Lancaster has always more than we are aware of, and may been a strong advocate for the establish- not find it out till too late. I will ment of a peasant proprietary in Ireland. not at this late hour detain the House That is, no doubt, the part of the Bill to by going into the other parts of the which he will give his support, and Bill; but there is one important point which he looks upon as a matter of about which I wish to say a word great importance. The noble Lord the or two, and that is the constitution of Secretary of State for India, the other the Commission which is to be the great day, in a speech which he made outside tribunal erected by the Bill. We have this House, spoke of it as being the had as yet no real discussion upon the principal object which the Bill had in nature of that Commission, and it does

Sir Stafford Northcote

seem to me, that, looking to the enor: 1 portant Bills have been brought in, and mous extent of its functions and the where some portions of the Bill that were work to be performed by it, we ought to considered the most popular and the have had, at an early period of the dis- most important were dropped as the cussion, a much more complete defini. Bill proceeded through Committee, and tion of its powers than we have at pre- thrown over either for want of time, or sent. It is not a mere Commission which upon some other grounds. I am afraid is to act as a judicial tribunal. It is not we shall have something of that kind in that which most of us, I believe, would connection with the present measure. I be perfectly willing to agree to--some- am afraid, if we go into Committee thing in the nature of a tribunal that without an understanding, we shall find miglit assist in arbitrating in cases of ourselves fighting hard over some of the difficulty with regard to rents. I am earlier clauses in trying to settle the renot at all indisposed to examine pro-lations of tenants and landlords; and posals that may go to the introduction that when we come to the 5th part of of a system by which an appeal could be the Bill, and consider what are really made in the case of fixing rents, espe- its beneficial portions—those relating cially in the case of the smaller tenants to emigration, the reclamation of waste who are unable to take care of them. lands, the planting of a tenant proprieselves. But the Commission proposed tary on the soil, and other matters such in this Bill goes a great deal beyond as all of us regard as important for the that. It is something in the nature of development of the resources of land in those commissions of liquidation which Ireland-I say, I fear we may be told are occasionally appointed to settle and that these matters are too big to be wind up complicated estates in bank- taken up in connection with this Bill, ruptcy. Some of these special powers, and that the part of the measure for which are now given to the Commission, which many of us would have been seem to have been copied bodily from ready to vote on the second reading will those which were given to arbitrators in be laid aside. Sir, I wish to explain

what the case of the London, Chatham, and is the position of the Conservative Party Dover Railway Company. There are generally with regard to this question. powers given by the provisions of the I do not know whether I need take that Bill to the Commission of the most trouble, because, a few days ago, the extensive character; and it looks as Prime Minister, who likes to play his if, not only those poor people of whom opponent's game as well as his own, was the hon. Member for Cork City has good enough to tell us how we ought to spoken, but the whole of the people of move all our pieces, and also to explain Ireland, were to be put into the hands what he thought of the policy we were of the Commission. That would be a pursuing. However, so far as I can most serious state of things to establish. myself offer any contribution towards You are going to bring about a revolu- throwing light upon our proceedings, I tion in the country, and its regulation is will point out to the House exactly how to be entrusted to a Commission of whose we stand in the matter. We have never composition and powers we do not, at denied, and we never shall deny, that it the present time, know anything. I may is a very proper and desirable thing to point out, with regard to these matters, legislate upon these questions. We are that it would be very well worth while perfectly ready to enter into the discusif we were allowed to discuss some of sion of questions of the character of these important parts of the Bill before those to which our attention has been we discuss that which is regarded as less invited; and, as my right hon, and vital. It would be, I think, of very learned Friend (Mr. Plunket) said no great advantage to us if we could make longer ago than last night at Bristol, sure as to the composition of this Com- the Conservative Party, before they saw mission ;

and it would be also of great this Bill, did look forward with hope to its advantage if we were able to make being something of a character which they sure of the 5th part of the Bill, which would be able to support. Laughter.] relates to what we consider to be a very That statement seems to amuse hon. Genmaterial portion of the proposed mea- tlemen opposite; and I have no doubt sures. We know there have been cases that the standpoint from which some in former times in which large and im- of them approach this question is one

[Eighth Night.]

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which has more of a political and the issue before the House. My noble Party character about it than anything Friend the Member for Haddingtonelse. No doubt, some hon. Members shire (Lord Elcho) stands first with an opposite prefer that position to the more Amendment, with regard to which we solid grounds upon which it might be admit entirely the justice and literal possible to deal with this question. But truth of the language employed. that is not our view. We have looked perfectly true that there are many things into this Bill, and we have taken some in the Bill which we must consider oblittle time to consider what course we jectionable on the grounds of justice and ought to pursue. We came to the con- economy. That, however, is not the way clusion that the Bill, as it stood, involved in which we ourselves should prefer to and contained within itself principles of meet the question. But, having to meet such intrinsic injustice, and principles it, we are reduced to the alternative of which appeared to us to be so exceed considering whether we shall vote for ingly open to objection on economical the words standing part of the Quesgrounds, that we could not conscien- tion-" That the Bill be now read a tiously accept it, or give it our fiat by second time" or whether we shall voting for the second reading. On the vote against them. It would be absoother hand, we were not disposed to lutely impossible for us, feeling as we take up a position of blank resistance do with regard to the character of this and say—“We will have nothing to do Bill, to vote in favour of the words with the Bill, but will do our best to standing part of the Question, becanse throw it out.” We thought it proper that would seem to imply that we were to express in a Resolution what our insensible to the very objectionable prinviews were with regard to the policy to ciples contained in the measure before be pursued towards Ireland. That policy us; and we know perfectly well huwa is to be found in the Resolution of which vote of that sort would be used by a Notice has been given by my noble disingenuous opponent, who would take Friend the Member for North Leicester-care to draw from it inferences which be shire (Lord John Manners). The Reso- would well know how to apply. On the lution runs thus

other hand, it is said we can abstain “That this House, while anxious to maintain from voting; but that cannot be. To and secure in full efficiency the customs of abstain from voting would be unworthy Ulster and other analogous customs in Ireland, of us. We feel, therefore, that it is our and to remedy any proved defects in the Land duty to vote, in the first instance, for Act of 1870, is disposed to seek for the social the Amendment of the noble Lori and material improvement of that country by measures for the development of its industrial the Member for Haddingtonshire, with resources rather than by a measure which con

the reservation that if we could ourfuses, without settling on a just and permanent selves substitute a Resolution of our basis, the relations of landlord and tenant."

own for that which he proposes, we [“Oh!”] Hon. Gentlemen opposite who should adopt that of my noble Friend cry“Oh!” would seem to hate landlords the Member for North Leicestershire. more than they love Ireland. It would I hope the House, in the decision it may appear to be their contention that nothing take to-night, will bear in mind that can be done in the way of improvement this is but a preliminary discussion as for Ireland by measures for the develop- to the consideration of the Bill in its ment of her industrial resources, and future stages. If the Bill goes into that it is impossible that any injustice Committee, we shall do our very best to or any mischief can arise from measures clear up those points which appear to us which we think we see in the Bill before to be doubtful, to eliminate those prous-measures for upsetting and entirely posals which appear to us to be contrary confusing the relations between land- to justice, and to maintain and strengthen lords and tenants in Ireland. However those points which appear to us to be that may be, I have expressed the views really calculated for the benefit of Irewe hold, and we are prepared to stand land. I am quite certain of this-that, by the policy which we have announced at the present moment, there is a great in the words of my noble Friend, al- deal that depends on the course that though we are not able, on Parlia- this Bill may take; and it is not by mentary conditions, to move it in the shutting our eyes to the facts, not by form of a Resolution contradictory to thinking that everything is pleasant

Sir Stafford Northcote

because it is convenient to you to make of Ireland, that we take our stand against it pleasant, that you will get out of the many of the provisions of this Bill. difficulty in which the country finds THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON: itself. We have had a fair note of Mr. Speaker, I regret extremely that this warning from the hon. Member for the long debate could not be concluded by the City of Cork to-night. We are perfectly speech of my right hon. Friend the First well aware of the view that he and those Lord of the Treasury, which was, I am who act with him take. We know sorry to say, delivered last Monday to a how great their influence has been in House far less full than the present one ; Ireland; and we know very well how and I can assure the House that, at this great has been their influence on the hour of the night, I have no intention of Benches opposite. We ourselves will attempting to fulfil the duty which has not shrink from doing that which we fallen upon my right hon. Friend the believe to be our duty. We will not be Prime Minister of winding up this dedeterred by any menaces or alarms that bate. I will endeavour to occupy the may be held out as to something dread- House for a very short time; and I hope ful that may happen if we venture to they will allow me, before going to a make any Amendments to these pro- division, to make one or two observaposals. We will do that which we feel tions on the attitude assumed on this to be our duty; and we do it not in the measure by the two Parties who sit interests of one particular class. We do opposite. A position has been taken by not come forward and say merely be- the Gentlemen who sit immediately opcause this Bill involves the confiscation posite to us which has been a subject of of the property of landlords—which it some surprise, and I cannot say it has does—and because it affords no com- been fully cleared up by the explanation pensation-which it does not, and is, which has just been given. We quite untherefore, unjust-we do not say simply derstand that the right hon. Gentleman on these grounds we object to the Bill; and his Friends should wish to take some for, if that were all, you might cure it by time for the consideration of what course offering compensation, and by measures they should adopt in regard to this Bill ; which would somewhat take off from and, although the right hon. and learned the severity of the confiscation. But Gentleman the Member for the Univerwo say we are perfectly convinced that sity of Dublin (Dr. Gibson) seemed to legislation such as this--and especially have made up his mind pretty well on legislation won and wrung from you, as the first night of the debate on the this has been, by the agitation of which second reading, and delivered a most unthe country has been for so many months compromising denunciation of the Bill, the scene-we say that such legislation we, perhaps, have no right to wonder that is calculated to inflict an evil on the no distinct step was taken on the part whole of Ireland, and on the whole of of the Opposition on that occasion. But the Empire, quite above and far exceed when, after the speech of the noble Lord ing any class interest you could imagine the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord to be injured by the provisions of the Elcho), he sat down without being able, Bill. You will be teaching the people on account of the Forms of the House, the lesson backwards-instead of teach to move any Amendment, and when, ing them that they should rely on their subsequently, the obstacle in the way own energies, and be prepared by their of moving a further Amendment was own energies, and by hard work, and withdrawn, right hon. Gentlemen oppoby self-denial, to work out a better po. site did not even thon soem very anxious sition either in Ireland or in some other to step into the gap, but allowed the country. You will be teaching them to noble Lord, two or three nights after look exclusively to the Government, to his speech had been delivered, to get the Commission-to anybody rather than up and step into the vacant place and themselves--and you will be teaching move his Amendment. Although the them to consider that when they are in right hon. Gentleman has not shown difficulties there is a simpler course than quite the alacrity which we might have work, and that is agitation. It is with expected from some of his speeches, it the object of protesting against, and, as does not appear to me to signify very far as possible averting, that mischief much whether hon. Gentlemen opposite which we believe would fall on the whole vote for the Amendment of the noble

[Eighth Night.]

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