§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether, considering the hardship and expense involved in bringing the Magherafelt tenants to the sitting of the Land Commission at Belfast, and 266 tenants and their witnesses from Carrickmacross to Dundalk, he will advise the Land Commission in future to hold sittings, if required, at Quarter Sessions towns, such as Magherafelt and Carrickmacross, for hearing appeals from the adjoining districts, in order that tenants may be in a position to attend with a sufficient number of witnesses to give proper evidence on appeal?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Land Commissioners inform me that it would not be practicable for them to sit in all Quarter Sessions towns where there are appeals to be heard from their neighbourhood; inasmuch as the number of weeks which they are able to devote to country sittings for appeals is 20 in the year, while the number of such towns in Ireland is upwards of 150. In some very exceptional cases, such as where the distance to the county town was considerable and railway communition did not exist, the Commissioners have gone to the spot to meet the necessity of the tenants; but to make a rule of doing this, they represent, would be physically impossible.
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
asked, whe- 878 ther it was not a rule with the Land Commission that the costs of appeal were increased when the case was taken outside the county from which it originated; and, whether, in view of this fact, the right hon. Gentleman would urge upon the Commissioners that such cases should not be taken from one county to another where it could be avoided.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
replied that the Land Commission had absolute control over their own movements, and that they did their best to meet the convenience of suitors.
§ MR. SEXTON
asked that the right hon. Gentleman would make a suggestion to the Commissioners of the kind that he had just conveyed in his Question.