MR. JOHN ELLIS
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether, in, view of the recent proceedings of some of the London Companies owning estates in the north of Ireland, with respect to advances under the Land Purchase (Ireland) Acts, 1885–8, he will consider the expediency of declining to sanction any further advances of public money in respect of sales by such companies until it has been made clear that they have 13 not committed breaches of trust in the proceedings in question?
§ * THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand
The London companies hold their Irish estates in virtue of certain charters, letters patent, and conveyances, and I am informed that neither in the charters to the Irish Society nor in the grants from the Irish Society to the London companies is there any trust whatever involved. It also appears that the Land Purchase Commissioners could not refuse, pending inquiry or otherwise, to extend the benefits of the Land Purchase Acts to the tenants of the London companies' estates, nor can the action of the Commissioners in the administration of the grant be fettered or controlled, except by legislative enactment.
In reply to a further question by Mr. J. ELLIS
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH
said he had only a communication from the Land Commission that morning, and he was consequently unable to give any further explanation.
§ SIR R. FOWLER (London)
Is it not the fact that one of the London companies sold their property as long ago as 1687, and that the property of three other companies was disposed of in 1727, 1728, and 1729?