§ CAPTAIN M'CALMONT (Antrim, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the following facts relative to the estates of Sir Henry Burke and Mrs. Lewis, in the vicinity of Woodford, are correct:—That on the estate of Sir Henry Burke, comprising one hundred and thirty holdings, there has not been a single rise of rent in the memory of the oldest tenant; that not a single tenant entered the Land Court to obtain a reduction of rent; that, in November last, Sir Henry Burke voluntarily offered a reduction of fifteen per cent; that, on the estate of Mrs. Lewis, almost all the tenants have had judicial rents fixed; whether the tenants, at the usual time for paying their rents, marched in, in a body, headed by four priests, and demanded a reduction of fifty per cent; whether these reverend gentlemen were members of the National League, and if the murdered man, Finlay, was refused Christian burial by any of them; whether it was on account of this demand, and the threats and intimida- 25 tion accompanying it, that legal proceedings were instituted; and, whether the Irish Executive still decline to afford assistance to Sir Henry Burke and Mrs. Lewis to enable thorn to assert their legitimate rights?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
I have no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy of the statements contained in this Question, except that, with regard to the burial of Finlay, I am informed that he was buried with the rites of his Church, and that one of the clergymen referred to in a preceding paragraph of the Question officiated. As to the last paragraph, I have only to observe that there is no pretence whatever for the assumption that either in these or in any other cases the Government have declined to afford assistance in the assertion of legitimate rights.