§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he did not want to say a single word in regard to the first two new clauses he wished to submit to the Committee. He moved:—
New Clause (Sanction of advances in cases not within the zones.)
In page 3, after Clause 4, to insert the following clause:—'In the case of the sale of an estate where an application for an advance, to which the provisions of Sub-section 1 of Section 1 of this Act do not apply, is made, the Land Commission may, subject to the limitations in the Land Purchase Acts, advance the whole or part of the purchase money if they are satisfied with the security, and are of opinion that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the agreed price is equitable.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made and Question, "That the clause be read a second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
New Clause (Reservation of Ancient Monuments).
In page 8, after Clause 2, to insert the following clause:—'(1) Where any land, which is vested under the Land Purchase Acts in a purchaser, contains any ancient monument which, in the opinion of the Land Commission, is a matter of public interest by reason of the historic, traditional, or artistic interest attaching thereto, they may, with the consent of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, by order declare that the property in the monument shall not pass to the purchaser, and make an order vesting the monument in those Commissioners. (2) Where any such order is made, the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1882, with respect to the maintenance of, and access, and penalties for injury to, ancient monuments, shall apply as if the monument were a monument under the guardianship of those Commissioners in pursuance of that Act. (3) In this section the expression "ancient monument" means any ancient or mediæval structure, ereciton, or monument, or any remains thereof."—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made and Question, "That the clause be read a second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that he did not disguise from himself that the new clause be now proposed was of a most contentious character. He feared that even in respect of its objects it might be held to be contentious in some, although not in all, quarters; but when he considered the source from which the expenditure which must be involved was to be defrayed, then his fear was greater that in no quarter would it find ready acceptance except possibly from the hon. Member for South Molton. He feared that he should have some difficulty in convincing the Committee that this was a proper suggestion at all. He regretted that at this stage of the proceedings he found himself bound to introduce a contentions subject into the debate, and he felt he owed an apology to many members of the Committee who had made suggestions not of a contentious character and whom he had asked to withdraw them on the score that it was not possible to make alterations in the character of the Bill at this date of July. But a Land Bill must be practical if it was to succeed. Facts were facts, and they must be faced; and after long and anxious consideration of the problem of Trinity College head-rents he had come to the conclusion that unless this new clause was added to the Bill land purchase would be hampered over a great part of Ireland. In fact he was not quite confident that even this additional aid would succeed in solving the question, because money alone was not what was required. Trinity College tenure was elaborate and complicated almost beyond belief, and its unfortunate influence, through no fault of Trinity College, had spread in a sporadic way all over Ireland. His reason, on practical grounds, for asking the Committee to pass this clause was that, in his deliberate opinion, if it were not adopted some 9,000 or 10,000 tenant occupiers would be debarred from taking any advantage of this Act, and would not be able to purchase the farms which they now held. He would pass to the technical justification for making this proposal,—viz., that 51 Trinity College head-rents had been dealt with by this House under three, four, and even more special statutes. Therefore there was, in his judgment, a technical justification for taking the Trinity College head-rents out of the ordinary character of superior interests. He did not know whether the Committee would assent to that proposition, but even if they did, they might say—"Very well, but why should you put this burden on I the Irish Development Grant? Why not provide for this purpose out of the moneys voted by Parliament?" Well, that would have boon a far more agreeable course for himself to take than that which he invited the Committee to take. But this charge had to be taken into consideration with other charges, and he thought they had not altogether failed to meet the money difficulty of the situation.
He would not refer to the £12,000,000 Aid Grant, but there were other proposals in the Bill enabling the appointment of a trustee. On that question it was urged that, even at the last hour, he should recede from the proposals of the Bill and pay that officer by fees instead of by salary. That would have placed a burden on land purchase as a whole. Take again the stamp duty. The Government went very far in regard to the stamp duty in the Bill. It had been urged upon him repeatedly that he had pressed his colleagues too far; that his proposal involved too grate departure from what had been done in the past, and that he ought to be content with taking off the stamp duty from one transaction, and not from both. Again, on that matter, he over-persuaded his right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accept; the Bill as it stood. That was half a million of money given in aid of land purchase in Ireland. The other point outstanding was whether the Crown should be asked to waive its rights in respect of these reversionary interests. On that he only succeeded in getting a favourable reply from his right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the eleventh hour. Indeed it was not he that succeeded. The success was to be attributed to his hon. friend, and to the hon. and learned Member for Louth, who; pressed the point so assiduously for many hours that his right hon. friend the 52 Chancellor of the Exchequer was convinced that the retention of this reversionary interest would place a great barrier on land purchase in Ireland. It was when they were in that situation that he pressed for some aid in connection with the difficulty regarding statutory head-rents, that his right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose opinion was that they could not have more money on these side issues, said that if this thing was a practical necessity it must be met out of some Irish money, and that the proper fund was the Irish Development Grant embodied in the Bill already presented to Parliament. As he had said, he was very doubtful of convincing hon. Members opposite that this was the best or the proper course, but it was the only course; and, that being so, he had to consider how this question could be met by casting the least possible burden upon that fund. According to their estimate, £9,000 a year would be needed to completely solve this difficulty; and unless some provision were made to indemnify Trinity College purchase would not go through. The middleman would suffer, and it would be in his interest not to sell unless some such provision were inserted in the Bill. To put, however, a possible expenditure of £9,000 on the Irish Development Grant would burden it unnecessarily. Nine thousand pounds of that Grant would, in that case, be always earmarked, and would not be available for other purposes. They could not finance other projects with that Grant without the reservation that £9,000 of it would not be available. Therefore, he thought it better to put, from the first, a definite charge on the Grant, which would accumulate, and might be hold to be sufficient in the long run for dealing with the question of the redemption of Trinity College head-rents. His proposal was to put a charge of £5,000 a year on the Equivalent Grant from the very start. Of course, the whole question of the redemption of the head-rents would not be developed to its full proportions until the land under Trinity College had been sold, and he supposed that that would take about as long as the whole operation of land purchase in Ireland. Those who would speak for Trinity College would make more clear to the Committee the technical difficulties of this subject. He would not say that the friends of Trinity 53 College were overjoyed at his solution, but they were satisfied with it, and were prepared to accept it as a definite conclusion of the whole matter. It was a technical question, but it was also a practical question, as it concerned 220,000 acres of land, and some 9,000 tenants. Why should those tenants be impeded in availing themselves of the Act, not through any fault of Trinity College, but because of the elaborate and complex system of finance which had been imposed on Trinity College by previous legislation? He submitted the proposal to the Committee as a necessary provision in order that land purchase should not be hung up over a considerable area in Ireland.
New Clause (Trinity College, Dublin).
In page 19, after Clause 35, to insert the following clause:—'(1) There shall be paid to the public trustee out of the Ireland Development Grant the sum of £5,000 per annum for the account of Trinity College, Dublin. (2) The said sum shall be applied by the public trustee in indemnifying the college against any loss of income arising from the redemption under the Land Purchase Acts of any superior interest owned by the college, that is to say, the difference between the annual income payable in respect of the superior interest and the annual income of the investment in which the redemption money of the superior interest is invested. (3) Any portion of the said sum of £5,000 which in any year is not required to make good loss of income to the college, and any accrued interest thereon, shall be invested by the public trustee, and may be applied in any subsequent year to make good future loss. (4) The investment of the redemption money of any superior interest owned by the college shall be made in accordance with the advice of the public trustee.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said he rose to oppose as vigorously as he could the clause of the right hon. Gentleman. It seemed to him that the apology which ran right through the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was in itself a sufficient condemnation of this proposal. The right hon. Gentleman had been cogitating over this Bill for two years or more, and the result of his 54 consideration had been put into this Bill. When proposals were made of a very moderate and admittedly reasonable character, from various quarters of the House, which involved new matter, the right hon. Gentleman met them by saying that he could not, almost at the end of the session, ask the House to take up and seriously consider new and contentious questions. Every proposal which introduced new matter was brushed aside in that manner; yet on the very last day of the Committee stage of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman springs on the House of Commons a proposal of a most intensely contentious character. He did not know who the right hon. Gentleman had taken into his confidence, except the Members for Trinity College. As far as he knew, the right hon. Gentleman had not consulted any Irish Member in the matter; and the first he himself knew of the clause was when he saw it on the Amendment Paper yesterday. He did not think that was a businesslike way of conducting a Bill, especially at that stage, and almost at the end of the session. The nature of the proposal was such that it was impossible for the Irish Members to abstain from the most vigorous opposition to it. The right hon. Gentleman himself said he knew he was making an unpopular proposal, and he also said that the only hon. Member of whose support he was assured was the hon. Member for South Molton, who, however, voted against the Second Reading of the Bill.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said even with that limitation that was the only support of which the right hon. Gentleman was assured.
§ MR. BUTCHER (York)
said he could assure the hon. Gentleman that the clause would be supported in other quarters of the House.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said no doubt the hon. Gentleman would develop his support later on. He was dealing not 55 with the speech which the hon. Gentleman had not delivered, but with the speech which the right hon. Gentleman had delivered. The right hon. Gentleman said that Trinity College was in a peculiar position; that it had leased out its land at long leases; that the middlemen had re-let to other tenants; and that the land could not be sold under this Bill without inflicting a loss on Trinity College. But Trinity College was not the only landlord in that position. Other landlords had leased their property in the same way, and they would lose just as Trinity College would lose. It was impossible to give the absolute figures as to the number of such cases, but it was undoubtedly true that there were a considerable number of proprietors in the same position as Trinity College. Yet there was to be no provision made for dealing with them; and Trinity College was to be specially selected to receive this compensation. As to the source, the Irish Development Grant would provide the money. Did anyone ever hear such a satire? That fund, which was entirely an Irish Development Fund, was to be drawn upon for the purpose of giving £5,000 a year as compensation to Trinity College. What was that fund? It was a sum of money which was Ireland's equivalent for the education grant given It England under the Act of last year foreland was entitled, as a matter of right, to a sum of about £185,000 a year as the equivalent to the English education grant; which meant that it was to be devoted generally to education in Ireland. Under this Bill the right hon. Gentleman was suspending the application of any portion of the grant for educational purposes in Ireland. He was drawing temporarily in one respect, and permanently in another respect, on that fund for the purpose of facilitating land purchase. But he now proposed to devote £5,000 a year from that fund to Trinity College for ever. That was to say that, while he did not propose to devote a single farthing to general educational purposes in Ireland, he picked out a State endowed educational establishment, the richest in the country, one against which, personally, he did not desire to say anything, but 56 against which there was undoubtedly a strong feeling in the country among all classes of the population, and proposed to devote this sum permanently to it. If he had spent the last two years in trying to find out what was the most contentious subject which he could introduce he could not possibly have succeeded better than by selecting this subject. It was one of the most contentious questions that could be raised. Every question connected with education in Ireland was raised by it. The Catholic University question was raised by it; and it was impossible to conceive any course that could be taken by the right hon. Gentleman that would be more certain to lead to excitement of feeling, bitterness, and prolonged discussions and he was afraid acrimonious discussion—both in this House and out of it. He deeply regretted the right hon. Gentleman had introduced this proposal. It would have been bad enough if he had put a clause in the Bill as originally drafted in order that they might be able to deal with it on the Second Reading. But to spring the question on the Committee in the middle of July, without consulting a single Irish Member, was a course which, in his opinion, was quite unjustifiable and one which he was intensely surprised the right hon. Gentleman had taken. He would at once admit that the right hon. Gentleman throughout the conduct of the Bill had shown a conciliatory spirit. He knew the right hon. Gentleman's difficulties perfectly well; and he knew how he was hemmed in and fettered. On the whole, he thought the right hon. Gentleman had exhibited a conciliatory spirit, and the greatest skill in the management of the Bill. But he confessed that in this matter the right hon. Gentleman entirely belied his record. He could not conceive a more fatal thing than, at the last moment, to throw down this bone of contention; and he felt sure that the view he had expressed was entertained strongly by every Member in that quarter of the House. He was afraid that if the right hon. Gentleman persisted in his proposal he would have to make up his mind to very considerable opposition, the very greatest dissatisfaction, and the very gravest acrimonious discussion in Ireland. He begged the right hon. 57 Gentleman to reconsider the matter. As for himself, he wished to enter his protest against the clause, and would offer it the most vigorous opposition.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said as he understood it, this was a proposal to preserve Trinity College and therefore proceeded on the lines of the Land Conference Report signed by the hon. Member for Waterford. On Second Reading he was urged by a large number of the Trinity College tenants to bring forward their case, which they regarded as a hopeless one under this Bill. He knew how the two law officers would resist any attack on Trinity College, and he had deliberately abstained from raising the question of Trinity College. He disliked this clause as much as did the hon. Member for Waterford, but were the Irish Members prepared to tell the 10,000 men who sat as tenants of Trinity College, they were to be denied relief, and that they would have no chance of becoming proprietors because of the tangle into which Trinity tenures had got. This was a "take it or leave it" clause, because he was certain that if it was opposed the Chief Secretary would drop it at once, and that was the alternative in which they were placed. They would either be misrepresented as having agreed to give Trinity College £5,000 a year or they must be prepared to stand by and see 10,000 tenants sacrificed. When he yesterday saw the clause for the first time he was startled, because it seemed to be an irony of fate that this development grant, which was the equivalent grant to which Ireland was entitled in respect of the grant for education, should go not to the unfortunate national schools of the country but should go in relief of the one exclusive university in the country which had distinguished itself in the bite election by pledging the Solicitor-General to oppose anything in the nature of a Catholic University. He did the hon. Gentleman the justice to say that he adopted a different attitude in the matter. He rose for the purpose of making a suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman would never get this clause with the goodwill of the Nationalist 58 Party, and if they voted against it they would be in the position of cutting oft their nose to spite their face, because they would prevent the tenants of Trinity College becoming proprietors. Could not they appoint a small Commission to inquire into what rentals Trinity College got and what the middle landlords got from the tenants; to inquire into all the tenures which affected the right or probability of the tenants becoming proprietors of their holdings, and enter into the whole question with a well informed mind next session. He did not believe the clause itself was sufficiently drastic to carry out the object of the Government; it would not, he believed, work if passed into law, because in his view the middle landlords would not sell the holdings. His suggestion, therefore, was that the right hon. Gentleman should appoint a small Commission with power to report, and whose report when published should be binding on the Estates Commissioners, and that the whole of this matter should then be left to the Estate Commissioners to deal with.
§ *MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said he had always held that two classes would be hit by this Land Bill, the first of which was Trinity College. The position of Trinity College was not that which the hon. Member for Louth supposed. The landlords of these holdings according to the Land Conference were the middle landlords to whom Trinity College leased these lands years ago, and it must be remembered that under the Bill the middle landlord could sell. Every Land Act had passed over Trinity College without touching it, but from what he had heard the middle men were in such a bad way they would gladly go out with the bonus. He had no desire to say a word against Trinity College, but his point was that this was a part of the educational settlement of Ireland, and if the Government were proposing to come to the relief of Trinity College in this way, at this time they might depend upon it that before next session they would have appeals, which they could not withstand, from the Irish Church Representative Body, the General Assembly of 59 the Presbyterian Church and Maynooth College. They would say—"You compensated Trinity College under this Act and you must also give us a grant to make our losses up." He was prepared to vote for this grant to Trinity College as part of an educational settlement, but only as a part of the settlement and not as a grant in aid.
§ MR. DILLON
said he could only repeat the question put by the hon. Member for Waterford—Why had the Government introduced so contentious a matter in this Bill at so short a notice? Over and over again they had been appealed to by the Chief Secretary to withdraw Amendments because of the danger of introducing controversial matter, and even on the question of Irish labourers, which had been brought to the attention of the Government at the earliest stage of this Bill, the right hon. Gentleman had appealed to them to drop the subject because it was too late in the session to take up so difficult a question. Within a few moments of that appeal the right hon. Gentleman himself came forward with a clause raising the whole question of Irish education—one of the most contentious and troublesome matters that could be conceived. But even supposing it were granted that the position of the tenants of Trinity College ought to be dealt with in some special way, why could not the right hon. Gentleman deal with it in a separate Bill next session, as he proposed to deal with the labourers' question? Did he contend that the grievance of the tenants of Trinity College was more pressing than that of the Irish labourers? This most contentious and objectionable clause would be opposed now, on the Report stage and on the Third Reading; and yet, although so much time was to be spent in the discussions therein involved, there was no time to settle the labourers' question, in reference to which there was practically no difference of opinion whatever. Was it to be understood that the question of the labourers and their grievance was shunted in order to make way for this extraordinary proposal? It was idle to say that Trinity College was in a special and peculiar position. There 60 was hardly a charitable institution in Ireland, not to speak of Maynooth College and the Church Body, which was not in a similar position. In all Irish land legislation the owners of superior interests had been treated somewhat summarily. Since 1881 it had been the practice to give the owner of the middle interest the right to expropriate or buy out the owner of the superior interest at a very moderate figure. That was exactly the fate which had now overtaken Trinity College, but it was proposed to treat them exceptionally, and do them a special favour. It was all very well to make fine-drawn distinctions between the losses which would be inflicted by this land legislation on Trinity College and Maynooth which stood to lose heavily. If this proposal were carried, on what ground would the Government resist the claim which would undoubtedly be made by the trustees of Maynooth next year to be put on an equality with Trinity College?
Never in the history of the House of Commons had a proposal so far-reaching in its effect been brought forward in so frivolous a manner as this. It was a serious matter to attempt to draw a distinction between the losses inflicted by this legislation on public institutions which had mortgages, and those inflicted on the owners of superior interests. In the past no such distinction had been drawn; both classes had suffered more or less by land legislation, but no claim had been made for compensation to either. This proposal was, in reality, under the cloak of the Land Bill, and in a manner which was exceedingly mean, an attempt to grab for Trinity College a perpetual endowment of £5,000 a year, it being expected that for fear of risking the Bill the Irish representatives would abstain from opposing it on its merits. It was an outrageous attempt to force down the throats of the Irish people a proposal for which the right hon. Gentleman would be unable to get half-a-dozen Irish Members to vote if it were put on its merits in a separate Bill. He strongly appealed to the Chief Secretary to postpone so contentious a matter. In the meantime information could be gathered as to the bearing of this clause, and the House could be informed as to the special 61 difficulties of Trinity College, of the true nature of the facts. The right hon. Gentleman had declared it would take fifteen years to carry out this work of settlement. Suppose it took ten years, would it be any tremendous grievance to Trinity College, even if this difficulty really existed, to wait until next year? The proposal was absolutely contrary to the traditions and practice of the House of Commons, and if persevered with might lead to the grossest possible abuse. For the House to tolerate, at the end of a great measure of 82 clauses, the introduction, practically without notice, of a proposal of this character, by which a public body would be endowed with a large annual sum, without the general public having any knowledge of the fact, was an outrageous innovation. Moreover, it was not fair to many Members of the House. The official opposition, having adopted a certain attitude towards the Bill, were absent, having been under the impression that they had before them all the important financial proposals of the Bill. He contended that fuller notice ought to have been given, so that Members could have made arrangements to be present if necessary. On purely financial grounds it was a thoroughly objectionable and vicious proposal.
A further consideration was the effect it would have on Irish opinion with regard to the whole policy of the development grant. Personally, he had always felt great uneasiness in reference to that policy. This policy of taking money and leaving it at the disposal of the Executive Government was a policy which would lead to corruption and jobbery unless closely watched, because it was a policy of withdrawal from all the elaborate financial precautions of the House of Commons. If it had not been for the existence of the Irish development grant the Chief Secretary would not have made such a proposal, but would have had to put this charge upon the Estimates. It would have been impossible, under the ordinary procedure of Parliament, to defeat all Parliamentary precautions, and evade that criticism which was necessary in all financial proposals. In his opinion this proposal was disorderly, and it most certainly was a gross innovation of the practice of the House of Commons. Even if it were not disorderly it was a warning to those who 62 wished business conducted in accordance with the practice of the House. This proposal was opposed by the solid opposition of representatives from Ireland who sat upon the Nationalist Benches. He considered this was a most unfortunate element to introduce into these discussions. This proposal was certain to create bitterness, and there was no urgency for introducing such a clause this session, more especially when the Chief Secretary had asked them to postpone the labourers question. The honest way to deal with the matter was to bring in a separate Bill, and then the Chief Secretary could state the grounds on which he proposed to deal with Trinity College separately from any individual or other corporation in Ireland which would lose under this Act. The right hon. Gentleman would do very little service to the promotion of good feeling or to the reception which this Bill would receive in Ireland if he persisted in this proposal. He wished to know if it was in order to introduce a clause seeking to appropriate a perpetual endowment to a particular corporation in Ireland from a fund which had not been appropriated by the House of Commons.
The hon. Member will no doubt recollect that the House of Commons had already passed a Resolution setting up the Irish development grant. The House has already agreed to that, and therefore it is in order to move that any of that money shall be applied to certain purposes.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
pointed out that Clause 35 provided that—If by any Act passed in the present session provision is made for an Ireland development grant the following provisions shall have effect.Those provisions only came into effect if Parliament this session made provision for an Irish development grant.
If the Irish Development Grant Bill does not go through then this proposal obviously falls.
§ MR. DILLON
said it might be held that by passing a clause appropriating a 63 portion of that grant they were interfering with the discretion of the House in setting up the rules and regulations under which that grant might be appropriated.
Of course it will be necessary, in dealing with the Irish Development Grant Bill to bear in mind that an appropriation to the amount of £5,000 has already taken place. Possibly this Irish Development Grant Bill which I have in my hand may require a proviso inserted to that effect. I do not think, from the point of view of order, that it is disorderly to allocate a portion of a grant which the House has already agreed to by Resolution, although it has not actually passed the Bill.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
contended that the provision of £5,000 for a special purpose not directly connected with land could not be introduced according to the Resolution which the House had adopted. His proposition was that this special allocation of £5,000 was not within the terms of that Resolution. Amendments coming from the opposite side of the House which dealt with the allocation of sums which did not actually come within the terms of the Resolution had been excluded. This grant was for a sum of money not included within the purview of the Bill itself, and it contravened the usages and practices of the House of Commons. He submitted that there was no precedent whatever for proposing a grant which could not by any construction be brought within the main purposes for which the money Resolution of this Bill was passed.
If the hon. Member will refresh his memory he will see that £20,000 has already been appropriated for one purpose, namely, the Congested Districts Board. Surely the Committee can appropriate further sums for another purpose.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
said his point was that this proposal could not be 64 introduced because it did not come within the purview of the Resolution on which this Bill was founded.
Nor does Clause 35, which has already allocated portions, of the money to certain other objects.
§ MR. DILLON
said that whereas Clause 35 took a portion of the Irish development grant for land purchase in Ireland it was now proposed to take a portion for a purpose which was not within the four corners of the Resolution upon which this Bill rested. Therefore, this proposal had no reference to Clause 35.
If there had been no money Resolution there would have been no advances at all, because they would not have been covered by the Irish development grant.
§ THE SOLICITOR - GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. JAMES CAMPBELL,) Dublin University
said his only object in rising was for the purpose of explaining the legal position of Trinity College in this matter. He thought it would assist the Committee when it was understood that some such provision as this was absolutely essential in the interests of ordinary justice and fair play. When the legal position was understood it would be at once seen that there was no analogy whatever between the case of Trinity College and the other cases referred to by the hon. Member for Mayo and by the hon. Member for South Tyrone. Trinity College was established under statute, and it could not depart one hair's breadth outside the powers and restrictions conferred upon it by statute. So far back as the reign of Charles I. Trinity College was granted power to make leases upon its landed estates, and those leases were to be of two kinds. In the case of agricultural land the lease could not be 65 longer than for a term of twenty years. In the case of towns that period was extended to forty years. The statute provided that in granting such leases it should be a condition that the rent fixed should be at least a half of the full value of the agricultural land. The matter became very burdensome to the College tenants and lessees, and they made frequent complaints on the subject, and the result was that Trinity College, exceeding its powers under the Act of Charles, proceeded to renew the leases to those tenants at much below the figure representing a half of the full value. That was done for the relief of the tenants, and it required a subsequent Act of Parliament in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of George III. to relieve Trinity College from that breach of trust, and to confirm and sanction the leases made at reduced rents. But still there was no perpetuity. Leases could not be longer than twenty years, and the College tenants began to complain bitterly of having no perpetuity on their estates, and having, therefore, no encouragement to spend money in improving them. In 1851 an Act was passed to regulate the relations between Trinity College and the lessees. The principal object of that Act was to bring relief to the lessees, and to accede to their request to have their tenure changed from terminable lease into perpetuity. That Act went on to provide that Trinity College should be at liberty to give leases for a period not longer than ninety-nine years, provided the rent was not less than three-fourths of the annual value of the land, but it also gave an alternative right to the lessees to demand a lease and grant in perpetuity, and that grant in perpetuity was to be subject to a rent fixed upon a basis having reference to the price of certain standard commodities. Inasmuch as these lessees were middlemen and had been, in recent years, making complaint as to the operation of the Act in regard to themselves, it was only right that he should mention that before the Act became law representatives of the lessees waited upon the Board of Trinity College, and certain suggestions were accepted by the lessees as a basis for the ascertainment of the perpetuity 66 rents. The Committee might take it from him that that basis was afterwards inserted in the Act of Parliament which now regulated the relations between the middlemen and Trinity College. The College had only received the rents agreed upon—nothing more and nothing less.
But what was the position of the middlemen? Did anyone know, or would they ever be told, what rents they exacted from the occupying tenants during the long period from 1851 to 1881? He mentioned this because the whole matter had arisen owing to it being suggested that those middlemen under the operation of the Act of 1881 were placed in an unfortunate position. He admitted it, but that had been through no act of Trinity College. The College had never exacted a farthing from the lessees in excess of what it was empowered to charge by the Act of 1851 as the result of a deliberate bargain between the College and the trustees.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
said that observation showed that the hon. Member did not appreciate the legal position. Trinity College had increased the rents, but under what circumstances? It was agreed that the rents should be subject to decrease or increase according as the prices of certain standard commodities went up or down. That was the bargain, and to give the Committee an idea of the rents fixed under the Act of 1851 he would state what were the five articles. It was important to understand this for the purpose of seeing that the position of Trinity College was wholly different from that of any of the other bodies having lands to lease. The Irish Church Body and St. Stephens Hospital were not controlled in the management of their estates by Parliament, but as the funds of Trinity College were devoted to the purposes of public, education, Parliament exercised the right of controlling the administration of the funds. The five articles selected were wheat, oats, beef, mutton, and butter. The prices in 1851, 67 immediately after the famine, were probably lower than they had ever been before, or since. He would give the exact figures, the comparison being between prices in 1851 and now. Wheat in that year was 8s. 4d against 6s. 5d. oats, 5s. 6d. against 5s. 9d; beef, 41s against 55s.; mutton, 47s. against 60s; and butter, 64s. against 99s. [Au HON. MEMBER: Where?] These were the average prices for Ireland. He was not speaking of any particular district. Had prices gone down, so far from Trinity College being able to get an increased rent they would have got a decrease. Trinity College was in no way responsible for the grievances of the occupying tenants; but the middlemen—the lessees of Trinity College—so far from having any cause of complaint against Trinity College, whatever complaint they might have against Parliament for legislation subsequent to 1881, must admit that Trinity College had kept honourably, faithfully, and rigorously to the bargain that was made at the request of those gentlemen themselves. There had, however, been no check upon them up to 1881 as to the rents they received from the occupying tenants from year to year. They were at the mercy of the middleman. He doubted whether we should ever be told what rents the middlemen obtained from the occupying tenants between 1851 and 1881. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: All they could get out of them.] That being so, what was their grievance? It was that while they could not take the benefit of the Act of 1881, the tenants from year to year under them could; and that as the result of the reductions of rents to the occupying tenants they had not made so profitable a bargain as they had made in 1851, when they got that agreement into an Act. But how was that any justification for imposing any loss or burden on Trinity College? Trinity College had adhered to that agreement rigorously throughout, and their case in that regard for relief was in no way better or worse than that of any middleman who, having effected encumbrances, or created charges, or granted annuities, found that the rent on which he had made these encumbrances had been cut down.
68 Now, that was the legal position of Trinity College. And what was the remedy proposed? The question had been dealt with in debate as if this was a grant of an extra endowment of £5,000 a year for Trinity College. That was a ludicrous misrepresentation. Not one shilling of this money would ever be paid to Trinity College unless and until there was a loss on the existing income. So far from there being an additional revenue, it was only an insurance on its present revenue, and this present revenue was devoted to national education in Ireland. [Cries of "Class Education" and "Sectarian Education," from the Irish benches.] He did not want to go into that question. [Cries from the Irish benches of "That is the question."] He did not want to go into the different forms of education in Ireland, but he might say that, at the present hour, any person in Ireland, without distinction of creed or class was eligible to the highest or lowest mark of honour which Trinity College could give. He quite agreed that there were other considerations that influenced large numbers of his fellow-countrymen, and which prevented them from availing themselves of the advantages of the education offered by Trinity College. It might be said that the system under which these funds were administered might be changed, but why should not the funds be kept intact? It was not suggested that the governing body of Trinity College were going to make away with these funds. They would be there for the use of the nation, preserved, as trust money. Of course, if Parliament chose to interpose and alter their destination or alter the governing body of Trinity College on a new system that would not interfere with the funds. They would be available for Parliament to deal with in its wisdom. He wanted to get rid of the idea that this was an addition of even one shilling to the revenue of Trinity College. The object of the clause was to facilitate the working of the Bill when it passed into law. Trinity College was a head landlord, but it was also a direct landlord of a substantial portion of land all over Ireland, and this provision would have no application to that land.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
But this clause had no application to Trinity College in its dealings with tenants where it was the direct landlord. What was the position? £36,000 a year was the income of Trinity College from head-rents. That formed a substantial portion of the money with which it had to carry on the work of education in Ireland. Imagine to what extent Trinity College would be crippled if, at a time when every educational institution was putting forth a demand for more money for the purposes of scientific and technical instruction, they passed into law a Bill which would be a social revolution in Ireland—as they all hoped, on the lines of prosperity and improvement—on lines of the most liberal character—liberal in money and liberal in many respects not contained in the original Bill and which many Members on that side of the House had reluctantly yielded to, only in the expectation that the Bill would bring peace and prosperity to all Ireland—and which was going to hamper the operations of the University of which, he ventured to say, every Irishman was proud, and which not an Irishman would allow a word to be said against. In a measure of this kind, the object and purport of which was to bring an opportunity for social, educational, and economical reformation to Ireland, were they going to say that its operation would be of such a character as to cripple the resources of the principal educational establishment in Ireland, and one which had hosts of friends, not only in this country and in Scotland, but in every corner of the British Empire? In conclusion, he wished to say that while Trinity College was drawing this revenue of £36,000 in the shape of head-rents, that represented to them a very small number of tenants indeed—not exceeding 100. But it affected possibly 9,000 occupying tenants. It must be borne in mind that the head-rent ran the whole way down till it reached the land itself. What was really required was that Trinity College should sustain no loss, not that she should gain anything; and it should be remembered that in making this provision they were 70 doing something not merely in the interests of education in Ireland, but in enabling the advantages of the Bill to be granted to 9,000 occupying holders.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said that the hon. and learned Gentleman had no reason whatever for making any apology for the speech which he had just delivered. It was a very able, interesting, and lucid exposition of a somewhat tangled series of facts. But to him the speech was not merely interesting as a revelation of the personal and political courage of the hon. and learned Gentleman; it was almost a surprise. The hon. and learned Gentleman stood up, and, in accents of alluring calmness and peace, asked hon. Members on the Irish benches, who represented a vast majority of the people of Ireland deprived of the advantages of a University education, to assist the most exclusive University, perhaps, in the world, to get an endowment from this House at the tail end of the Bill, and at the tail end of the session. But in the course of his exposition the hon. and learned Gentleman forgot to remind the Committee that he came here a few weeks ago from that same University pledged to maintain its exclusive privileges and to the exclusion of the majority of the people of Ireland from its benefits. The hon. and learned Gentleman asked them to put aside that part of the question from survey. They declined to do so. To them it was the kernel of the whole business. He agreed with the hon. Member for South Tyrone that if the proposal before the Committee had been for a generous system of education—a really national system of education in Ireland—and if Trinity College were really national, nobody would have raised any objection to an addition of, £5,000 a year, or even more, to its revenue. But when the proposal was to again endow—for that was the real fact—an exclusive University, and when that was done not by direct, straightforward proposal, but by a sudden proposal almost irrelevant to the purposes of the Bill, at the last hour, to keep up the exclusiveness of the University, it was bound to receive the most serious and determined opposition from Members from all parts of Ireland. The hon. and 71 learned Gentleman elaborated the point that this was not endowment or re-endowment. No, it was an insurance against loss by legislation! He never felt the absence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Sleaford Division more than he did at that moment. If the right hon. Gentleman asked for £5,000 to save the landed interest from loss resulting from free trade, would anyone say it was not an endowment? Was not insurance against loss, which was a necessary consequence of necessary legislation, an endowment? It was playing with words to speak of this proposal as not being an endowment. Suppose it was proposed that every holder of superior interests in Ireland should be saved from loss, would not that be an endowment? and would not hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had anything like popular principles, denounce it as a new endowment of the landed class? Would not the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Armagh think he had lived to see an extraordinary day when it was proposed to give back to his class the money they had lost through legislation? He thought the right hon. Gentleman would envy Trinity College; and that with even his own opulent vocabulary he would envy the still more opulent vocabulary of the Solicitor-General for Ireland who said that an insurance against loss by legislation was not an endowment.
The third point was that this was for the benefit of education. The right hon. and learned Gentleman gave a glowing account of the desirability of higher education in Ireland; but he might have spared himself the trouble of passing those eulogiums, because they were all in favour of higher education. There was a sum of nearly £190,000 which Ireland had earned for education; and according to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the object of this fund was not to promote the elementary, popular and free education of the people of Ireland, but that it should be given to an exclusive and rich University. That was what the right hon. and learned Gentleman called encouraging education. The money was to be filched from the masses of the people, and given to the intolerant University of the minority of the people. The right hon. and learned Gentleman might think that he 72 was using a harsh word when he called Trinity College an intolerant University. What was the right hon. and learned Gentleman's reply? Speaking from the bench from which they had often heard the Prime Minister speaking on the Irish University question and Trinity College, the right hon. and learned Gentleman declared that Trinity College was a tolerant and national University, and that observation was cheered by hon. Gentlemen sitting near him. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that all its endowments were open to men of all creeds. That was the language of the subordinate of the Prime Minister, who had done more to extirpate that miserable and mendacious fallacy than any other man in the kingdom, by speeches in which he declared, over and over again, that although all the endowments of Trinity College were nominally open to Catholics, its atmosphere was so exclusively Protestant that no self-respecting Catholic parent would send his son to it.
What was the fourth defence? It was that Trinity College was in a different position from other bodies, because its relations with its tenants were regulated by statutes. They had heard that this statute did this, and that the other statute did that, and that such-and-such an agreement was embodied in an Act of Parliament. What inference did he draw from that? It was that another Act of Parliament was the proper way of dealing with this question; not a subordinate clause sprung on the House of Commons at the tail end of the session. He would prove to the satisfaction of every hon. Member that in order to carry out the proposal of the right, hon. Gentleman an Act of Parliament was necessary. The only real defence which had been made for this clause was that suggested by the hon. and learned Member for North Louth. He said that unless this money were given to Trinity College the tenants would not be able to buy their holdings. He himself admitted there was force in that; but there again an Act of Parliament was required. He challenged the Chief Secretary to show that this clause would effect the object he had in view. The process would be this. The middleman and the tenant 73 would negotiate, the middleman would get as an inducement to sell a number of years purchase, and the bonus. He then had to pay Trinity College. But how was Trinity College going to deal with the matter? The right hon. Gentleman proposed to give Trinity College £5,000 to make up its loss. But what compulsion was there on Trinity College by this clause to make such an allowance to the middleman as would induce the middleman to sell? Direct provision would have to be made for that, and it could not be made in a single clause; it would require an Act to itself. But even if the right hon. Gentleman were to answer him satisfactorily on that point, his objection—an objection which was shared by every hon. Member on the Irish benches, and by some hon. Gentlemen opposite—would remain as it was. The clause was in his opinion anticipating, and unfairly anticipating, the settlement of the University question. They felt very strongly on that question. They had been urging the claims of their co-religionists in this matter for nearly half-a-century. Measure after measure had been proposed in this House for dealing with that grievance, and popular opinion in Ireland—not only on the part of the Catholics, but also on the part of tolerant Protestants—was unanimous as to its removal. The Prime Minister had admitted the existence of the grievance, and had asked that it should be removed; but it still remained unredressed. A Ministry, many Members of which were pledged to the principle of dealing with this question, was in office for several years, and it still remained unredressed, and after those long years of patient and weary waiting for the redress of the University question, Trinity College—a rival and exclusive University—was able to put a blunderbuss to their heads and demand a new endowment in addition to its already large revenues.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that some of the speakers who had taken part in the debate said that in making his proposal he had avoided details, and had placed a somewhat scanty defence before the Committee. His defence for having avoided details was that he knew his right hon. and learned friend the Solicitor-General was prepared to deal with the details of the question; and hon. Members who had 74 heard his right hon. and learned friend's speech would agree that he was right in leaving the matter to him, and not taking it into his own more clumsy hands. The defence of this proposal was to be found in the speech of the Solicitor-General. Any hon. Member who had listened to that speech would agree with the Government that the Trinity College question was a unique question, and a very complicated question; and that it did constitute a bar to purchase in areas which were scattered here and there over the whole of Ireland. The hon. Member who had just spoken went into the distribution of the purchase money, and said that on the face of the Bill the middleman could sell without consulting Trinity College. That was not an overstatement of the case; but there was sometimes not only one but two, and in some cases three, middlemen intervening between the occupier of the soil and the superior interests of Trinity College. In the complicated task of ascertaining the value of these interests and of redeeming the superior interest, if it were not law it was human nature and sure prophecy to say that the fact that the business could be carried through would be an element of very potent and very beneficial effect. The middleman would not sell if he believed that after the sale he would get nothing but the bonus. Therefore, without following the argument of the hon. Gentleman at too great a length, he might say that the fact of putting sufficient in the general pool to leave the middleman something more than the bonus was a rough-and-ready, but, as far as it went, a practical help towards the solution of this difficult problem. Would it go far enough? He was not now speaking of money alone. He was very much struck by the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for North Louth, with part of which he was disposed to concur. The hon. and learned Member asked them to substitute for this provision a separate and close investigation into the whole of the difficult questions of Trinity College head-rents and intervening interests. He could not accept that as a substitute; but he thought it would be well worth while for the Government to consider it as an addition. He feared that in respect of Trinity College and its head-rents and intervening interest they would find 75 the progress of land purchase delayed, and that would have the effect of disappointing the hopes which the Bill had raised. The result, as far as the occupier of the soil was concerned, would be accidental and adventitious. It was not his fault that he held under a lessee of Trinity College. They would have purchase going gaily forward on one side of the hedge and impossible on the other side.
The hon. Gentleman for East Mayo asked why he was not prepared to deal with this problem in another session; and the hon. Gentleman followed that up by instituting a comparison between these 9,000 or 10,000 occupiers who held under lessees of Trinity College and the labourers of Ireland. If he could look at it from the abstract, he would be prepared to say that legislation that would give great satisfaction to the whole of the labourers of Ireland would be more important than legislation giving the advantage of purchase 9,000 tenants. But how could he look at it in the abstract? These 9,000 tenants were 9,000 out of all the occupying tenants in Ireland; and as this was a Bill to give the occupying tenants an opportunity of becoming the owners of their holdings he had to look at the 9,000 in relation to the balance of 490,000 tenants, and not in relation to the labourers of Ireland, whose wants he would consider in the ensuing months when the labours of this Bill were completed. He had been asked, "Why introduce a question of this magnitude so late in the session?"
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that he feared it would be difficult to give an answer which would be satisfactory to hon. Gentlemen opposite; but there had been an accommodating process going on, on parallel lines, involving a good many negotiations among those interested in the Bill. He was not saying that they had done all that they might have done, but every one had distinguished himself by a spirit of co-operation in dealing with questions more difficult than this one. Take the evicted tenants question. He should not dwell upon that, but many Members on his side of the House had co-operated to the best of their 76 power to arrive at a satisfactory agreement on that question. There remained a number of other questions, which remained in what he might call a state of suspended animation, and why should there be no set-off? The settlement of this matter had only been arrived at on Tuesday morning, and it was only one of a number of questions as to which he had been approached. As this was a Bill which was to carry goodwill to Ireland, he thought they ought not to allow this matter, touching a great institution of which all Irishmen were proud, to remain open, or to endanger its primary duty, that of educating the youth of the country.
§ MR. CLANCY
said the right hon. Gentleman had said that the defence of the Government proposal was to be found in the speech of the Solicitor-General for Ireland, but so far as he heard it the speech of the Gentleman was quite irrelevant to the issue before the Committee. The Solicitor-General dealt in his speech not with the question before the Committee but with the totally different question raised on the new clause in the name of the hon. Member for Mid Armagh. The hon. and learned Gentleman discussed the relations between Trinity College and its middlemen, which had nothing to do with the question before the Committee. Whether the rents should be varied or not had no relation to the question of whether Trinity College should be reimbursed out of the equivalent grant, so that the defence of the hon. and learned Gentleman was no defence at all. The question was whether Trinity College on selling its superior interests ought to obtain out of an Irish Imperial fund £5,000 a year for ever; and the only ground upon which such a suggestion could be defended was that Trinity College occupied a unique position. But where was the difference between the position of Trinity College and all the other landowners of Ireland who only had a superior interest? The only difference that he could see was that in some cases Trinity College had acted under statute, and that the other owners had exercised their rights to agree with their tenants. That was the only difference. It was said that Trinity 77 College had middlemen under them, but there were hundreds of owners in Ireland in the same position whose superior interests were as well safeguarded as those of Trinity College; and that being so it was a most extraordinary thing that the Government should come at any time, but especially at a time like this, and pick out a single landlord for the purpose of making good to him the losses he might incur under this Bill by compulsory sale. Because Trinity College could be compulsorily relieved, and the price to be paid for its superior interests had to be determined by the Land Commission. In every county of every province in Ireland he could pick out dozens of landlords who had middlemen under them, and in their case the lowest middleman could sell to the tenants and every man above him could be redeemed against his will, but it was not suggested that all those landlords should be relieved. The Government proposed to compensate no one but Trinity College, the one landlord who in some respects had rendered itself most hated by the majority of the people of Ireland. But assuming that Trinity College ought to be compensated, the object of this Bill was a great Imperial object; its object was to pacify Ireland, to establish peace and settle the long-standing quarrel between landlord and tenant, and for that purpose Parliament was about to sanction a loan of £100,000,000 and a grant of £12,000,000, and if Trinity College was to be compensated surely the money required for effecting that object ought to be obtained out of an Imperial fund also. This grant of £5,000 a year was to be made not merely for fifteen years but for ever. How much could not that sum have done for the congested districts in the West of Ireland, or for all those poor localities which required piers and harbours, but were unable to provide the necessary money out of local sources? Instead of being so used, it was to be devoted to the endowment of an already rich University, which had certainly been too much favoured in the past, to the injury of the interests of the rest of Ireland.
He was really astonished to hear the old story repeated about Trinity College being open to Catholics. It was open to 78 them in exactly the same sense as the Protestant churches were in the time of Cromwell. Trinity College did not satisfy Catholics, and it was to this institution, when other educational institutions were starved for lack of assistance, that a sum was to be given at the rate of £5,000 a year. The Chief Secretary had seemed to imply that a portion of the money would be pooled in order to filter into the pockets of the middlemen, who would thereby be induced to sell to their under-tenants. He did not think that would be the case. The £5,000 would be kept for Trinity College alone, to compensate it for any loss that might be incurred in the redemption of its superior interests. Not a penny would go into the pockets of the middle men for the purpose of facilitating land purchase. It was also urged that certain compensations were being given, the reference being to the ridiculous question of the reversions of the Crown. Those reversions were worth very little, and even that little had to be paid for, as there was no provision in the Bill, except in the case of an interest which had practically disappeared, for relieving the Irish tenant in the last resort from paying for these reversions. But even if the reverse were the case, it was no defence for this proposal.
§ MR. BUTCHER
said that if the estates, of which Trinity College was head landlord, were to be sold, Trinity College would undoubtedly suffer a considerable loss—a loss which had been put as high as £9,000 a year—and the question was whether the Committee were prepared to allow such a great educational institution to suffer that loss through the operation of a Bill from which so much good was expected. He believed that every friend of higher education in England and Ireland would deplore any result which either paralysed the activity or in anyway diminished the energies of that great institution. He regretted the hon. Member for the Scotland Division had seen fit to attempt to divert the discussion to the irrelevant question of the religious controversies in connection with Irish education. He would certainly not follow his example, and he was sorry the hon. Member had struck a jarring note which hitherto had 79 been conspicuously absent from the discussion. Trinity College deserved all the Committee could do for it. It had an illustrious history of which every Irishman was proud. It was almost the one institution founded in Ireland by England which had had such continuous success. For three centuries past Trinity College had been the home of literature, art, and science, and had produced many of the most illustrious men of the time. Had not such an institution a special right to claim the intervention of the Committee to save it from loss consequent upon the working of this Bill? It had been said that Trinity College had no more claim to be indemnified again loss than a private owner of superior interests. Surely the case of a great educational body, whose income was derived almost exclusively from land, was entirely different from that of a private individual? The Committee had been asked why Trinity College should be compensated, and Maynooth not. What would Maynooth receive under this Bill? Maynooth, and other institutions holding mortgages, would receive in full their mortgage money and all the interest. [Several IRISH MEMBERS: But not their income.]
§ MR. BUTCHER
thought there was hardly a place out of Ireland where a mortgagee would complain if he was repaid his money with interest in full. In view of the fact that Trinity College was a great educational institution and would suffer loss by the operation of the Bill, he held it was only right that provision should be made against its educational work being impaired through that loss. The only question was whether or not the money should come out of this particular fund. He did not deny that in some respects it would have been better if some other fund could have been drawn upon. But there was no other fund available, and that being so, he should certainly heartily support the clause.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
said that it had been estimated that Trinity College might lose about £5,000 a year under this Bill. It 80 should not be forgotten that there was another college called Maynooth College. Trinity College educated the Protestant Church and Maynooth College the Catholic Church. It had been estimated that Maynooth College was going to lose £3,000 a year. That was the whole question. [NATIONALIST cries of "No, no."] He believed that was at the bottom of the whole of this debate. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Not at all, it never was mentioned.] That was his opinion at any rate. The Government were taking care of Trinity College but were taking no care of Maynooth College, which was placed practically in the same boat by this Bill. If this proposal were extended to Maynooth College he should be quite willing to vote for the Chief Secretary's proposal.
§ MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
said there was no proposal in the Bill to make either Trinity College or any other college sell its land, and they were giving this money to Trinity College without any compulsion to sell. Out of money due to primary education for the great majority of the Catholic children of Ireland they were going to devote £5,000 to maintain an utterly un-national University in Ireland, in its present position, and this would prevent the possibility of the education question in Ireland being regarded upon fair grounds in the future. It would be to the advantage of Trinity College to have no sales at all, but allow this £5,000 a year to accumulate indefinitely, and he believed this clause would have an absolutely opposite effect to that which was intended.
§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said that after the speech of the Chief Secretary he had come to the conclusion that the Nationalist Members had been treated most unfairly upon this matter. The object of this Bill was to promote the transfer of land from the landlords to the occupiers, and in that object all parts of the House concurred. When this Bill was laid upon the Table of the House it was never contemplated that it would be used as a medium for a further endowment to Trinity College. All sections of the House had reason to complain that with little or no notice this clause was "dumped" down and they were asked to pass an endowment 81 of £5,000 a year. Very few Irish Members had ventured to take part in this discussion to support the views of His Majesty's Government. Very few Irish Members who voted for this endowment could face their constituencies with equanimity. He could not differentiate between Trinity College and other people in Ireland who possessed similar interests. He would not follow the hon. and learned Member for York into a discussion upon the merits of Trinity College. The Solicitor-General had told them that Trinity College was a great institution of which they might all be proud. He agreed that this College had produced eminent men, but as a Catholic he contended that it had failed in its mission in a most disgraceful way and left the vast majority of an intelligent people without the University education which would fit them for their part in life. He did not know why this differentiation should be made, because there were many other institutions in Ireland which had a much greater claim upon the public purse. He failed to see how they would be able to deal with other institutions like Maynooth later on after this proposal had been carried. He had heard no justification for the Government adopting this course under a Bill for transferring the ownership of land from the landlord to the tenant. The Government appeared to be seeking by a side wind to give a further endowment to an institution which had failed in its mission and which had already had too much from public funds.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
said he wished to impress upon the Chief Secretary the great difficulty in which he had placed hon. Members representing Irish constituencies. This debate illustrated the truth of the fact that the House of Commons was the place where surprises continually took place. They had got on fairly well with the Land Bill so far, and they had discussed it without treading upon those topics which in the past had caused strong Party feeling in Ireland; but now, by some evil chance, on the very last day of the Committee stage they came down expecting their labours to be over, and found themselves suddenly launched into a debate upon the one subject which above all others was most calculated to arouse Party feeling in Ireland 82 and the strongest possible expression of opinion from hon. Members in this House. If Nationalist Members followed the example which had been set by the hon. and learned Member for York, there would be no prospect of making, any progress with the Bill that day beyond this Amendment. He did not think anybody wished to enter into a discussion of the position of Trinity College, or of education in Ireland but it was an unfortunate thing that Trinity College should be treated in this special manner. He was perfectly certain that when the people of Ireland read that almost the first grant made from this sum of money given to Ireland was to Trinity College there would be consternation and indignation from one end of the country to the other. He had been simply inundated with letters from all parts of his constituency, and from all over the country containing suggestions as to how a considerable proportion of this money could be spent to better the education of the masses of the people and approving of the national system. He had received letters from national school teachers and managers in every portion of the county of Clare begging him to bring before the right hon. Gentleman the necessity of giving some of this equivalent grant to improve the national schools, many of which were in a deplorable condition. The schools were not properly heated in the winter time, and even from the point of view of making the schools habitable and tolerable, money ought to be spent upon them. He had told the people repeatedly that he believed that when this money came to be allotted large sums would be spent for improving educational facilities amongst the masses, and that, pending this Land Bill, it was impossible to deal with the matter. Tomorrow those people would find that the first sum dealt with out of this equivalent grant had been allotted not to education but had actually been given to Trinity College. It was enough to break the heart of any man who strove to bring conviction home to the people that any Government in this country could deal fairly and squarely by them. As a University for national purposes in Ireland, Trinity College had lamentably failed. This was not an occasion for discussing 83 the University question of Ireland, and yet it was almost forced upon them. He would beg the Chief Secretary at the last moment to try if he could hit upon some other plan of dealing with the matter than the one set forth in the Amendment they were discussing. He told the Chief Secretary with every desire to make the final stages of this Bill unanimous and satisfactory to all Parties that this one thing was a taint on their proceedings and would embitter all the good things that had gone before.
It had been said that the Chief Secretary had endeavoured to meet the representatives of the masses of the Irish people, and he believed the Bill as amended undoubtedly proved that. Still the good results of any steps the Chief Secretary had taken to meet them in these matters would be completely wiped out and obliterated by this last proposal, which would raise in Ireland in one second all the question which most divided the people, and which were most calculated to cause excitement in the country. If the right hon. Gentleman was going to deal in a special way with estates where there were middlemen let him devise some scheme in future and deal not alone with property of Trinity College but with all properties where there were middlemen. And if money was to be devoted to the solution of that branch of the question, in the name of Heaven let him have one more interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer with a view of getting the money from some other source. When £185,000 was placed at the disposal of the Irish Government as an education equivalent grant the very first thing the Chief Secretary did with it was to give £5,000 to Trinity College. The right hon. Gentleman knew perfectly well from his intercourse with men of all sections in the country that this proposal was bad in itself. It would seem a great deal worse to the people of Ireland. It would be taken really as a challenge to them not only on the University question, but on the question of education generally in Ireland. In the name of goodness let them leave this equivalent grant alone until they could apply it to national purposes which would meet with the approval of a vast majority of the Irish people. He hoped the example of the hon. Gentleman 84 the Member for York would not be followed. This was not the time to go into the questions raised by the very mention of the name of Trinity College. He would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to allow them to depart from the House that evening with the consciousness that this Bill had been carried through in a spirit of toleration and fair play. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not in the last lines send a message to Ireland which would cause great indignation in the country.
§ MR. SAMUEL YOUNG (Cavan, E.)
asked whether this grant was conditional on the transfer of the land of Trinity College to the tenants?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said that if the hon. Member would read the words of the clause he would see that it was only put aside for that purpose, and that it could be used for no other. He assured the hon. Member for East Clare that he had had in this matter to deal with a practical difficulty. He knew the solution he had adopted would not commend itself to hon. Members from Ireland. He wished he could find an alternative. He did not feel that he could leave this question out and he was afraid he must ask the Committee to allow the clause to pass. He knew the fund on which the burden fell was a fund to which all Ireland was looking, and he did not attempt to minimise the disappointment hon. Members felt. He would far sooner that the money could be found from another source. But the same objection would be raised if they looked to any other source. He was not in a position to lay his hand on money for the purpose. He should be sorry if the Committee stage, which had proceeded with so much amity, were to end in another tone, and he hoped that would not be the case.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
said he believed this vote now to be passed would do no good to Trinity College, but rather the reverse. It 85 would embitter feeling against that institution. He was going to vote deliberately against this grant to Trinity College, because when he went through Ireland he saw the ruins of Irish Catholic Universities, and because University Education was withheld from his Catholic fellow countrymen. He would not have the heart in these circumstances to vote an additional endowment of £5,000 to Trinity College. The 220,000 acres held by Trinity College came to that institution from the Catholic University in Dublin. Before
§ Oxford and Cambridge were founded the Irish Universities shed their light all over Europe, but these institutions were now silent. He had heard the Prime Minister say that he had not the heart to propose a Vote for £5,000 to Belfast College when the great mass of the Irish people who were Roman Catholics had no College at all.
§ Question put.
§ Committee divided. Ayes, 197; Noes, 134. (Division List No. 140.)87
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Dickson, Charles Scott||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Duke, Henry Edward||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lowe, Francis William|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Finch, Rt. Hn. George H.||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Captain C. B. (Hornsey)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'rgh W.|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. Hicks||Forster, Henry William||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Galloway, William Johnson||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Bill, Charles||Garfit, William||Maasey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton|
|Bond, Edward||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Gordon Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Brassy, Albert||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Butcher, John George||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasg.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ||Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Morton, Artbur H. Aylmer|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Gretton, John||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Groves, James Grimble||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hain, Edward||Myers, William Henry|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hall, Edward Marshall||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Mid'x||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Hamilton, Marq. of (Londondy||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Chamberlayne, T. (Southmptn||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)|
|Chapman, Edward||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Peel, Hn. Wm. R. Wellesley|
|Charrington, Spencer||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.)||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hope, J. F. (Sheff., B'tside)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Colomb, Sir. John Charles Ready||Hoult, Joseph||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Howard, J. (Midd., Tott'ham||Renwick, George|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hutton John (Yorks., N. R.)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Robinson, Brooke|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kerr, John||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Denny, Colonel||Keswick, William||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Valentia, Viscount||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.||Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Warde, Colonel C. E.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside||Webb, Col. William George||Wylie, Alexander|
|Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-un.-Lyne||Younger, William|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. Oxford Univ.||Wills, Sir Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tyd||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Dowd, John|
|Blake, Edward||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Boland, John||Joicey, Sir James||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||O'Malley, William|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Mara, James|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burns, John||Kilbride, Denis||O'Shee, James John|
|Burt, Thomas||Kitson, Sir James||Partinglon, Oswald|
|Caldwell, James||Lambert, George||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Cameron, Robert||Law, H. Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Carew, James Laurence||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Redmond, Jn. E. (Waterford)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Leng, Sir John||Roche, John|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Levy, Maurice||Russell, T. W.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lough, Thomas||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)|
|Crean, Eugene||Lundon, W.||Shackleton, David James|
|Cullinan, J.||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Dalziel, James Henry||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardign||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Delany, William||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||M'Fadden, Edward||Sullivan, Donal|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||M'Govern, T.||Thomas, E. Freeman (Hastings)|
|Dillon, John||M'Kean, John||Thompson, Dr. E. C. (Monagh'n, N.|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Tomkinson, James|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj.||Tully, Jasper|
|Duffy, William J.||Mather, Sir William||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Mooney, John J.||Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Murnaghan, George||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fenwick, Charles||Murphy, John||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Newnes, Sir George||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Field, William||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Young, Samuel|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Norman, Henry|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Nussey, Thomas Willans||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Sir Thomas Esmonde and|
|Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Captain Donelan.|
Question "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said he proposed to move as an Amendment to add to the end of the clause—Provided this grant-in-aid shall be so applied for a period of five years from the date of the passing of this Act.They had had a great deal of discussion on a time limit as to the general application 88 of the bonus, and he thought that there was a great deal to be said against the application of the time limit to the bonus itself, from the standpoint of the Stock Exchange; but nothing could really be urged against confining this grant-in-aid to Trinity College to a period of five years.
said that the Amendment would practically negative the whole clause—the point of which was that the grant must be continuous. He could not receive the Amendment.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
New clause (Provision for sale at a loss of congested estates).
In page 20, after Clause 39, to insert the following clause—'(1) On the completion of the re-sale of any congested estate purchased by the Land Commission an account shall be prepared showing the profit or loss in connection with the purchase and re-sale of the whole of the congested estates purchased and re-sold up to date. (2) If the account shows on the whole of the transactions a net loss, that is to say, an excess in the amounts paid by the Land Commission over the capital sums realised by the Land Commission for re-sales, interest at the rate of two and three-quarters per cent. and sinking fund at the rate of ten shillings per cent. on the amount of the said net loss, within a limit of ten per cent. of the aggregate sums realised by the re-sale of the estates, shall, in accordance with rules made by the Treasury, be paid as part of the expenses of the Land Commission, and credited to the Irish Land Purchase Fund, until the amount of the loss is discharged. (3) In calculating the profit and loss on the purchase and re-sale of congested estates, no account shall be taken of any money expended by the Land Commission for the benefit or improvement of the estates, nor of any increase of price obtained by them in consequence of such expenditure.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
New clause (Resumption of holdings by Congested Districts Board).
In page 34, after Clause 75, to insert the following clause—'The resumption of a holding during the continuance of a statutory term by the Congested Districts Board may be authorised under Sub-section 6 and Section 5 of the Act of 1881 for the purposes of migration or the enlargement of holdings in addition to the purposes specified in that sub-section.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.90
§ Clause added to the Bill.
New clause (Under Secretary to be member of Board).
In page 34, after Clause 75, to insert the following clause—'The Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant shall be ex-officio a member of the Congested Districts Board.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Clause added to the Bill.
New clause (Scheme under Labourers Acts to be framed by Land Commission).
In page 37, after Clause 84, to insert the following clause—'(1) Where the Land Commission have purchased an estate, or where application is made to the Commission to sanction advances for the purchase of holdings comprised in an estate, they shall make inquiry as to whether accommodation is needed for labourers on the estate, and if of opinion that such accommodation is needed they shall frame a scheme providing there for. (2) Every such scheme shall be forwarded to the Local Government Board for Ireland and the council of the rural district in which the land comprised in the scheme is situate, and shall be deemed a representation made to the council under the Labourers' (Ireland) Acts, 1883 to 1896, and those Acts shall apply accordingly.'"—(Mr. Wyndham.)
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
moved as an Amendment to omit from the first sub-section, line 1, after the word "estate" to the word "estate" in line 3. The effect of this Amendment would be to exclude from the operation of the clause estates sold by the landlord direct to the tenants without coming to the Land Commission.
In line 1, to leave out from the word 'or' to the word 'estate' in line 3."—(Sir John Colomb.)
§ Question proposed—
§ "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."91
§ MR. ATKINSON
said that his hon. and gallant friend must be aware that both under the Land Act of 1881 and the Land Purchase Act of 1891, it was competent for the Commissioners to direct that provision be made for labourers who lived on the farm. The Commissioners would be more free to act when they purchased the estate. It had to be remembered that the scheme when promoted would only amount to representation. If the District Council made up its mind it would have the power to acquire compulsorily as much land as was necessary. It did not prevent in any way the sale being carried out, but simply put the new proprietors in the same position as the old proprietor.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said the proposal was ridiculous and utterly ineffective. It might well be relegated to accompany the Bill which they were told might be introduced next session. As he understood it, the idea was to place the Estates Commissioners, who did not know the district at all, in the place of the boards of guardians who did know it, and to enable the Estates Commissioners to carry out the work at the expense of the boards of guardians. It merely meant that the Estates Commissioners could make a representation which any twelve labourers could make at the present moment. The whole clause was a farce. He could not conceive that either Mr. Wrench or Mr. Bailey would have the interests of the labourers more at heart than would the Poor Law guardians. It was the acme of ridicule.
§ *MR. O'SHEE
thought this clause was an advantage because, individually, labourers very often made a mistake which told against their own interests.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
said he only wanted an assurance that the scheme would in no way interfere or delay the sanction where the Commissioners purchased the whole of the estate. He did not like the clause, but he would not pursue the matter further.
§ MR. ATKINSON
said one advantage would be that the Commissioners would have the whole thing before them, whereas 92 at present each labourer sent in his own representation, and it was never done in the right way. Here the Commissioners would promote a general scheme that would be sent forward to the District Council.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
could understand that the Estates Commissioners would be better able to form a scheme than the individual labourer. But if the Estates Commissioners made up their scheme and sent it forward to the Local Government Board and the District Council, who was to defend it or press it on if the District Council would have nothing to do with it?
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB
, in view of the right hon. Gentleman's assurance, begged leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ And, it being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to-make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this evening.