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THE IRISH LAND BILL.

The Hon. W- E*. Gladstone’s Speech oh Introducing it. London, April 7. In the House of Commons the Right Hon. \V. E. Gladstone, at 5.40, asked leave to introduce the Land Bill. He was much cheered. The House was exceedingly crowded. Mr Gladstone t on introducing the Bill, said this was the most difficult question he had ever- - - , met with in the course of his political . life. He felt satisfaction at exchanging * the dreary work of repression ibr?-the -?«- legislation of improving and . character. The grounds which induced the Government to deal with thedyand f ’ question were not that the Irish land- tv; lords are bad, but that appeals to . the/ associations of Irish people have been made by persons whose wild proposals ■ are but little removed from the schemes ' of public plunder. The Irish people declare they dp not desire expropriation. . ; of landlords, or the confiscation of the ■ ’ \ property of others, but they do desire to cultivate in security the land of the country, and enjoy the'fruits of their ' 1 labor, paying a fair rent for the land. These being the views of the Irish people, we have a broad basis on which to found legislation. It is not just to say legislation is necessary because of the faults of the Irish landlords. They have stood their trial, arid, as a rule, have-been acquitted, although the proceedings of a limited number of them have been arbitrary, harsh, and cruel. This is partly, but nob solely, the reason 1; for the necessity: of legislation we are

about to introduce. Mr Gladstone then referred to the partial failure of'the Land Act of 1870, which He attributed mainly, though not wholly, to the amendments which the Government had disapproved He then reviewed the reports of the Richmond and Bessborough Commissioners, which he declared, notwithstanding the conflicting authorities and recommendations, had been of the greatest service ttPfhfc’Government. The Richmond Co- /v: mission, with one dissentient, and the Bessborough Commission, unanimously, agreed in recommending the'establishment of a Court to deal With' the differ- 1 ences between landlord . and tenant

regarding rent. Two great questions are to be dealt with —first the relations, between landlord and ' tenant ; and, second, the advances frorti, the ppblic • exchequer. He declared that’nfever, as Minister, had he submitted any measure with a greater ?ense„ of. the| enormous moment' of the' topics*’ and of the propositions involved ; and, he added, nothing that clan, be legitimately done by the Government for the promotion of legislation shall we hesitate to do to procure the passage 1 of effective measures tp question of Ireland. ~ Jte thep ~qx-, ( amined and justified* in detail the pnn- * . ciples of the measure,,beginning with the right of assigncpeht jtm $-<6 j | which, he declared already existed by , common law and custom. Before the . , Act of 1870 the interest which the tenant had to assign was 1 so small* ds 1 to ■ be worthless. Under that Act, the tenant had the right to the shape of compensation. He continued,: The , present bill does pot introduce the un- . regulated tenant right., . The provision ; is made for preventing it from passing • into extravagance and protecting the just rights of landlords by bribing in- ' ’ to fair competition the tenant’s right to assign, and landlord’s right to get what his land is reasonably worth. A cardinal feature of the. Eill is the jnstij, tution of a Court to raKfi coghisancd *' of rent, and which will not be debarred: • from taking cognisance of tenure and assignment.. There,are strong grounds . > for making a resort to this Court optional instead of compulsory. : There may; be tenants who do not desire the interference of this Court- Every existing tenant might call in the Court. to fix the judicial rent for fifteen years, during which there could be no change, no eviction, except for breach of certain specified covenants. The Ulster la*v will remain as : now, at the tenaht’s option, but the tenant will have protection in the general provisions of the Bill for controlling the augmentation of rent. Power to contract outside of the Act is given where the rent amounts to L2OO yearly. The Land Court will have final authority over all land cases. It is to consist of three persons—one of whom must be a Judge or ex-Judge of the Supreme Court. Its proper, seat will be at Dublin, but extra, Commissioners, and, if necessary, Sub-Com-missioners will be appointed. Civil Bill Courts will be Courts at first instance. It is proposed to assist tenants to purchase their holdings, and ; invest the = Courts with power to' pur-* chase lands from landlords desiring to ; sell, and re-sell them, retaining the title,.. as guarantee for the re-payment and against subdivision. Advances will be made to owners, tenants, and solvent companies formed for the purpose of reclaiming land, or for other agricultural, improvements, on condition that advances do not exceed the amounts the borrower has.laid out on his own behalf. Advances will also be made to assist emigration. This will be under control of the Land Commission, subject to the consent of the Treasury. It is not proposed to place any limit on these advances beyond making them secure. Mr Gladstone concluded by saying—" Justice is to be the principal. . guide of England in regard to Ireland.” He concluded his speech at B o’clock, and was greeted with loud :heers on taking his seat

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810512.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE IRISH LAND BILL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 342, 12 May 1881

Word Count
897

THE IRISH LAND BILL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 342, 12 May 1881

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