HC Deb 27 March 1882 vol 268 cc13-4

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, if he can state why the cases of the tenants of Mr. William Talbot Crosbie, of Ardfert Abbey, county Kerry, whose rents were last increased in 1880, are not listed for hearing at the second sitting of the Sub-Commission at Tralee, although the originating notices were served in the first week of last November; whether it is true that, after the service of the originating notices, the landlord changed his name from William Talbot Crosbie to William Talbot Crosbie Talbot, with the object of placing the cases lower in alphabetical order than they otherwise would have been, and thus postponing their hearing for a considerable time; whether he is aware that, at the opening of the Sub-Commission at Tralee, on the 6th of last December, a local solicitor, concerned for a large number of tenants, complained that the case of one of his clients, of whom Mr. Crosbie was the landlord, had been wrongfully removed from the position it occupied at the beginning of the list, and placed at the end, without any intimation to the tenant of its removal, and of the consequent impossibility of having it heard for more than a year, although the landlord must have been aware that the tenant had incurred considerable expense in preparing his case for trial at that sitting; and, whether the solicitor publicly charged Mr. Denis Godley, the secretary to the Land Commission, with having acted in collusion with Mr. Talbot Crosbie, to whom he was known, in effecting this alteration in the position of the case as it originally stood upon the list?


I am sorry that my reply to this long Question will be very long. In reply to the first inquiry, I have to state that the cases are sent to the Sub-Commission for trial in the order of their receipt in the Land Commission Office, and for this reason the cases of Mr. Talbo-Crosbie's tenants could not have been listed for hearing without taking them out of their turn. As to the second and third inquiries in this Question, I am informed that one case of Mr. Talbot-Crosbie was placed in the list under the letter "C;" but that, on his representation that his surname was Talbot-Crosbie, and not Crosbie.—[Mr. SEXTON: Talbot-Crosbie Talbot.] I am informed it is Talbot-Crosbie, and for this reason the case was removed to the letter "T." No delay, however, was thus occasioned beyond that involved in the adjournment from Tralee to Killarney, which was one week. The solicitor for the tenants, it is true, objected to the change; but as notice of the alteration had issued, the Land Commission declined to make further change. As to the rest of the Question, I understand that, according to the newspaper report of the proceedings, the tenants' solicitor charged Mr. Godley with having been in collusion with Mr. Talbot-Crosbie. Of course, there was nothing in it, and the newspaper also reports that the same solicitor withdrew the charge, which shows it ought not to have been made.


Am I to understand from the right hon. and learned Gentleman that the Land Courts take the cases, not in the order of priority of application, but in the order of the alphabetical position of landlords' names?


I suppose the hon. Member refers to the Sub-Commissioners. If so, the Sub-Commissioners take the cases in the order in which they are sent down by the Land Commissioners.