§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the report in the Belfast Northern Whig of the 10th inst., of a meeting of farmers held at Upper Bellahill, near Carrickfergus; whether he is aware that these farmers purchased their holdings during 1883 and 1884, under the Land Purchase Act of 1881, and were obliged to pay over to the Land Commission one-fourth of the purchase-money; and whether, considering the complaints of these farmers, that they had purchased "too soon," and at extremely high prices, he will take into consideration their present difficulties, and the request of the meeting to have refunded to the farmers the one-fourth of the purchase-money paid to the Land Commission at the time of purchase?
§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in the event of his giving a favourable answer to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question, the Government will also consider the case of the landlords who purchased too early and at extremely high prices?
§ MR. MADDEN
I think my hon. Friend will see that the very interesting matter to which he has directed attention does not arise on the answer I am about to give. The purchases referred to in the question on the Paper were made under the Act of 1881, under which no more than three-fourths of the purchase-money can be advanced. There is no power to adopt the suggestion contained in the concluding paragraph of the question.