HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1201-2

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Henry M'Dougall, agent of the Gormanstown estate in the county of Meath, recovered money under the Arrears Act when, as a matter of fact, no arrears were due on that estate; whether, when called on for an explanation, ho practically admitted his offence by re-funding the money in one case in which he had obtained it on an ex parte application made in spite of the tenant's refusal to join in applying; and, whether he will accordingly direct a prosecution of M'Dougall, either under the section of the Arrears Act which is concerned with such cases, or for perjury?


Applications under the Arrears Act were made in the case of 20 tenants on the Gormanstown Estate; and in one case the tenant was stated by the agent, Mr. M'Dougall, to owe a half-year's rent, £3 10s., which, as a matter of fact, had been paid. Mr. M'Dougall was called on to explain this in November last; and his explanation was, and is, that the payment of the rent had not been written up in the ledger by his clerk—who was leaving him at the time—that he had 1,349 tenants under him as agent, who took the benefit of the Act, and that, as there was pressure for time, the payment escaped attention. He has refunded the sum paid by the Land Commissioners, and has given the tenant credit for half a year's rent. I am advised that, on this information, there does not appear to be evidence of a criminal intent on Mr. M'Dougall's part; but, if a case is made, the Attorney General will consider it.


asked, whether 10 such cases regarding Mr. M'Dougall had not been laid before the late Attorney General (Mr. Holmes)?


said, he could not be aware of that fact.