a'Ex. 34] COMPENSATION FOE DISTURBANCE BILL 231
am not prepared to vote against the principle/ A few days later the Government gave way, and on June 18 Mr. Forster himself, taking up the question, introduced the famous ' Compensation for Disturbance Bill.' This measure proposed that an evicted tenant should be entitled to compensation when he could prove to the satisfaction of the Court—
1. That he was unable to pay the rent.
2. That he was unable to pay it, not from thrift-lessness or idleness, but on account of the bad harvest of the current year, or of the two preceding years.
3. That he was willing to continue the tenancy on just and reasonable terms as to rent and otherwise.
4. That these terms were unreasonably refused by the landlord.
Lord Hartington justified this measure in an effective speech.
The Bill, he said, was the logical outcome of the Act of 1870, and had been framed simply with a view of preventing the objects of that Act from being defeated by exceptional circumstances which could not be foreseen. 'In some parts of Ireland the impoverished circumstances of the tenant have placed in the hands of the landlord a weapon which the Government never contemplated, and which enables the landlord, at a sacrifice of half or a quarter of a year's rent, to clear his estate of hundreds of tenants, whom in ordinary circumstances he would not have been able to remove, except at a heavy pecuniary fine.
' I ask whether that is not a weapon calculated to enable landlords absolutely to defeat the main purposes of the Act.
* Supposing a landlord wished to clear the estate of a number of small tenants; he knows that this is the