§ MR. CONWAY (Leitrim, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the fact that the practice on fair rent applications to the Land Commission, of having the holding inspected by the Sub-Commissioners prior to fixing the rent, is never departed from except for some valid reason arising out of the facts of the particular case; and, what reason existed for departing from this practice in the case of "Sarah Maguire v. Owen Wynn," recently heard by the Sub-Commissioners at Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, Mr. E. O. M'Devitt in the Chair?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Land Commissioners inform me that it is the fact that the usual practice is to inspect the holdings after the hearing in Court and before the rent is fixed. The 20th Rule confers a discretion on the Assistant Commissioners as to whether they should inspect the holding or not; but they ought, as a general rule, to inspect it unless they see sufficient reason to the contrary. The Assistant Commissioners are the judges as to whether there are valid reasons or not. In the particular case of "Sarah Maguire v. Wynne," Mr. Rice, one of the lay Assistant Commissioners, informs the Land Commissioners that the case was fully heard on both sides; that the landlord claimed to have the rent increased; that the weight of evidence was against the tenant; that Griffith's valuation was 33 per cent above the rent; that one of the tenant's sons admitted in evidence that three acres of the land produced 10 tons of hay each year; and that they were satisfied as to the fair rent, and did not, in their discretion, deem it necessary to inspect the holding. The Land Commissioners have no reason to 419 believe that the discretion was not properly exercised in this particular case.