HC Deb 23 March 1888 vol 324 cc185-6
MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to a decision of Mr. Edward Greer, Chairman of the County Down Sub-Commission, delivered at Antrim on Monday last, whereby he dismissed the fair rent application of a leaseholder, named Edward Nelson, who is a tenant on the estate of Sir Richard Wallace; whether Mr. Greer held, on the authority of "Donoughmore v. Forrest," that the assignee of a lease which contains a clause against alienation, even though he had been accepted as tenant by the landlord many years ago, is not entitled to the privileges of the Land Act of 1887 unless the lessor or landlord had, by endorsement in writing, consented to the alienation; whether it is a fact that upwards of 75 per cent of the agricultural leases in Ulster contain covenants against alienation, and that the practice generally followed on the assignment of leaseholds there was merely to enter the name of the assignee in the rent-book as the new tenant, and give him the rent receipts in his own name; whether he is aware that, if this narrow interpretation be put on the word "lessee" in "The Irish Land Act, 1887," more than half of the leaseholders in Ulster will be debarred from having fair rents fixed; and, whether, considering the importance of the subject, and the danger with which these leaseholders are threatened, the Government will take steps to have the benefit of the fair rent clause secured to all the leaseholders to whom it was intended to apply?


The Question of the hon. Member only appeared on the Paper this morning, and I, therefore, have been unable to obtain the necessary information as to the decision referred to in the Question. All I can say at present is, that I quite agree with the hon. Member as to the importance of the subject; and I shall take care to ascertain the grounds of the decision referred to, and consider them with reference to the working of the Act of last year.


I shall repeat the Question after Easter.