14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 15


(To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—About a week ago, Mr. Godley, Secretary to the Irish Church Commissioners, wrote to a Dublin paper (the Irish Times) to say that out of the annual payment of £131,000 due to the Church Commissioners for interest on money advanced by them to the 4,000 or 5,000 peasant proprietors whom the Commissioners have created in Ireland, under the Church Disestablishment Act, the arrears due this winter, after three three successive bad harvests, amount to only £7,450, or less than 6 per cent. of the annual interest. Mr. Godley also denies that there have been refusals or inability to pay interest on the part of peasant proprietors in Armagh and Donegal, as alleged in the last number of the Edinburgh Review. These facts, on such good authority as that of the Commissioners' Secretary, should, I think, go far to allay the fears expressed in your article on "Mr. Bright on Ireland," in the Spectator for the 31st of January,—that the Government might expect trouble from refusals to pay interest in bad times on the part of Irish peasant proprietors, if money were advanced to them by Government, as proposed by Mr. Bright.—I am, Sir, &c., Grange, Waterford, February 9th. E. HARVEY.