HC Deb 03 May 1883 vol 278 cc1704-5

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ire-laud, If it is the case, as stated in the "Dublin Evening Mail" of 27th April, that the Sub-Commission under the Land Act, of which Mr. M'Devitt is the legal Member, sat for two months during his absence from illness; if he can state under what rule of the Chief Commissioners it is competent for a Sub-Commission to sit without its legal president; and, if any inconvenience or delay arose in consequence of such absence?


Sir, in all questions relating to the proceedings of the Land Commissioners I prefer to read their own replies. I have received a letter from the Commissioners, from which it appears that Mr. M'Devitt has been ill more than two months, and during that time the Sub-Commission has transacted business without him, postponing cases for his attendance when required. Inconvenience and delay have been caused by Mr. M'Devitt's enforced absence, as inconvenience must inevitably occur when a public officer is temporarily disabled. According to the original rules of the Land Commission, the Sub-Commission would ordinarily contist of three members; but it consists of a greater or less number, as the Commissioners deem right, and in special cases. The Sub-Commissions now, by order of the Commissioners, are each composed of five members. Neither in the rules of the Commissioners nor in the Land Act is there any direction that one member of a Sub-Commission must necessarily be a legal Assistant Commissioner. Mr. M'Devitt is expected to re-sumo his duties shortly. I am told from private sources that there have been no appeals on a point of law from the Sub-Commission's decisions.