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Irish Land (No 2) Bill

Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 August 1907

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As amended, was considered.


in moving an Amendment to Clause 1, explained that the object of the Bill was to enable mining rights reserved to the Land Commission under the Act of 1903 to be disposed of by the Estates Commissioners. He now wished to amend the clause by providing that before borings or experiments were made to ascertain the value of the mining rights the occupier should be given at least one month's notice by registered letter. Amendment proposed—

"In page 1, line 13, after the word 'persons,' to insert the words 'after having given to the occupiers of the land in respect of which the right is to be exercised at least one month's notice by registered letter, addressed to him at his last-known place of abode, and subject to the provisions of Sub-section (4) of the said Section 13 as to compensation, enter upon the land and—'"—(Mr. Cherry.)
Question proposed. "That those words be there inserted."

said he should like to say a word or two by way of precaution. He agreed that the speculator should get fair and reasonable terms to encourage him to work the land, but he ought to make some provision by means of a deposit which would be answerable for damages. Every mining adventurer was a very hopeful man who believed that every plot of land he desired to purchase was glistening with jewels and diamonds. Mining was a very hazardous speculation, and while he agreed that short leases should be given they should be renewed if the venture turned out prosperous. Any man who entered upon a venture of this kind ought to be assured of considerable profit if successful, because he had to take the whole of the risk of failure. He would not have dreamt of making those observations in regard to legislation affecting England where mining was understood, but the case was totally different in Ireland where the Commissioners knew nothing about mines and minerals. While the adventurer ought to be able to get his lease cheaply, and ought to be encouraged in every way, he thought some element of caution was necessary. The Board of Works had been in the habit of granting mining rights for gold and silver in Wicklow. When such rights were granted in Australia or America they got only a very small plot of land, because it was known that the country was rich. He did not think, however, it was known that in county Wicklow the Government had given up miles of territory to adventurers who had never worked the land and had done nothing to develop it. The plot of land given should be comparatively small in extent, and there should be an undertaking on the part of the Land Commissioners that if the venture was successful they would not look too closely at the profits.

said that these proposals referred more to the preliminary borings and other operation which were necessary before the lease was granted. As for damages, the Land Commissioners would be responsible. Every precaution would be taken to see that the leases were properly prepared, and that the mining rights were leased to the best advantage, with a view to developing the country as much as possible. The Government would provide that leases should be made subject to the appoval of the Judicial Commissioner and they would be bound to get all the expert evidence they could. The Estates Commissioners were anxious that the mining rights should be developed to the advantage of the country, and as soon as this Bill became law every effort would be made to see that the work was carried on in the best possible manner. Question put, and agreed to.

moved an Amendment to provide that the Commission should publish by advertisement in a newspaper their intention to make a lease or sale. He said it was desirable that people in the neighbourhood should have the advantage of knowing what was proposed to be done so that they might have an opportunity of making an offer. Amendment proposed—

,'In page 1, line 23, at the end, to add the words '(5) Not less than one month before any disposition is made under this section of any right the Commission shall publish, in a newspaper circulating in the locality where the right is to be exercised, a notice stating their intention to make a lease or sale, as the case may be, and inviting offers from any persons wishing to exercise the right.'"—(Mr. Cherry.)
Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted." Question put, and agreed to. Bill read the third time, and passed.