§ MR. SEXTON
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn 281 to the fact that, in a case of George M'Cord, tenant, Sir Richard Wallace, landlord, brought into the court of the Antrim Sub-Commission by an originating notice served by the tenant to have a fair rent fixed, the Sub-Commission confirmed the old rent, and, on appeal by the tenant to the Chief Commission, that tribunal confirmed the decision of the inferior Court, thus leaving the old rent unaltered; whether the evidence for the tenant before both Courts founded his claim to a reduction of rent upon improvements in the holding made in recent years, and purchased by him about five years ago; whether, in. the interval between the decision of the Sub-Commission and Court of Appeal, the tenant was served by the Irish Land Commission with a printed document called the Official Valuer's Report, setting forth that the official valuer had valued his holding at £23, and that this valuation, "made for the purpose of the re-hearing," was "exclusive of buildings," and "making no allowance for alleged tenant's improvements;" whether it was proved at the hearing by competent witnesses, and admitted by the landlord, that the improvements had been made by the tenant; and, whether, nevertheless, the rent, as fixed by the Sub-Commission, and confirmed by the Commission, is £23 14s., being 14s. a-year over the official valuation, which included all the improvements except the buildings?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I brought this Question under the notice of the Land Commissioners, and have received from them the following observations with regard to it:—It is true that in the case referred to the Sub-Commission left the former rent unaltered, and that the Commissioners on re-hearing affirmed the decision of the Sub-Commission. It is also true that the valuer for the Commissioners valued the holding at 14s. a-year below the judicial rent. The Commissioners, having decided the case before them, according to what they deemed just, declined to enter into the evidence or discuss the merits.I must say for myself that I have received a statement from another quarter to the effect that the hon. Member who put this Question on the Paper was misinformed on some particulars. His statement of the case is one-sided and incorrect, and there is a presumption that such is the case, considering that the Commissioners had all the facts be- 282 fore them when they decided; and there is a certain inconvenience, not to say an unfairness possibly, in stating a legal case in a Question on the Paper in a way giving an impression it did not give before the Court.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I said there was another impression of the case which commended itself to the Court.
§ MR. HARRINGTON
The right hon. Gentleman says he received information from another quarter. Was that from the landlord?