§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that an anonymous leaflet, entitled The present position of the Irish farmer under the Land Acts, purporting to be a synopsis of the Land Act of 1881 and of the Ashbourne Act, was distribute by the Irish Constabulary amongst the farmers of Ii eland generally, but in particular on estates, during the Parliamentary recess, where the combination known as the Plan of Campaign is alleged to exist; whether he can say by whom and for what purpose this document was published and distributed; whether it was with his knowledge and authority that the police undertook its distribution; and whether the expense of publication of this leaflet was defrayed by the public funds; and, if so, under what head or department will the amount appear on the Estimates to be submitted to Parliament?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The explanatory notice referred to was circulated by the Irish Government for the information of tenants throughout Ireland, many of whom appeared to be unaware of, or imperfectly acquainted with, their position under the land legislation of late years. The distribution was not specially made to any particular estates, but equally throughout Ireland. The notice was distributed by the Royal Irish Constabulary. It was also sent to post offices. The expenses of printing will be borne by the Stationery Office Vote. The miscellaneous expenses will fell, to the extent of about £31, on the Constabulary Vote, and of about £12 on the Chief Secretary's Office Vote.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
By whom was this document drawn up, and do the 435 Government hold themselves responsible for it?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Were the services of the Law Officers used and delegated in preparing the statements contained in this document?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think it is usual for the Government to state the particular advice they receive from their law officers.