HC Deb 07 November 1882 vol 274 c957

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If, in the New Rules regulating the working of the Arrears Act, provision has been made to meet those cases in which the landlord has expressed in writing his willingness to accept the Act, and to facilitate its extension to his tenants, but, at the same time, has made no affidavits; and, if the Land Commissioners will, with the object of reducing costs, treat as unopposed those cases in which there is at once a fair presumption of the general truth of the tenant's affidavit, documentary evidence that the landlord consents, and absence of opposition from the Treasury?


The Land Commissioners inform me that they treat as unopposed applications in which the landlord either does not appear or does not contest; but, in discharging their duty under the Act of Parliament, they cannot accept the mere unverified applications of the tenant without an investigation. Any statement in writing of the landlord as to his willingness to facilitate the Act, or as to his belief in the bona fides of the application, would be received by the investigator, and have its due weight. The Commissioners could not act on mere presumption in appropriating the public funds. Under the Act it is absolutely necessary the preliminary conditions should be proved. When a landlord does not appear at the investigation, the inability of the tenant to pay his antecedent arrears must still be shown; but no technical objection is allowed to interfere with an order being made; and when the Treasury does not intervene, and the landlord does not oppose, the investigator may act on the oath or affidavit of the tenant.