HC Deb 01 May 1891 vol 352 cc1849-50

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether his attention has been called to a decision, given by the Chief Land Commission at Belfast on 12th November last, in the case of Mr. John Weaver, tenant, whose family have been in possession of the holding for over 200 years, and Mr. Francis Heron, landlord, where the landlord appealed from an order of the Sub-Commissioners fixing a fair rent on the tenant's holding on the ground of the reduction of rent and not on a point of law; whether he is aware that the Chief Commission, guided by the decision in" Battersby v. Caroll," dismissed the tenants's application on the point of law that the lease contained a covenant enabling the landlord to resume a small portion of the holding for planting or other purposes; whether he is also aware that the Land Commission was at the time asked to state a case for the Court of Appeal, and that at the last County Court at Newtownards this landlord obtained a decree of ejectment against Weaver by reason of this decision; and whether, considering that the decision in" Battersby v. Caroll" has since been departed from in the case of Mooney, tenant, Wilcocks, landlord, reported in the Irish Times of 10th February last, he will support a Bill to have the law declared or amended in such cases?


My attention has been called by the question to the decision referred to. It is the fact that the Chief Commissioners dismissed the tenant's application following the decision of the Court of Appeal in" Battersby v. Caroll." I am informed that the Land Commission, on the application of the tenant, gave his leave, on the 18th of November, to state a, case for the decision of the Court of Appeal. Under the Rules of the Land Commission, the person to whom leave is granted to have a case stated is bound to prepare it and lodge it within one month from the order giving leave. Although now five months have elapsed, no steps have been taken by the tenant. The case of"Mooney v. Wilcocks," referred to in the last paragraph of the question, has not yet been reported in the Law Reports. But on comparing the newspaper report of that case with the report of" Battersby v. Caroll," I find the facts to be nothing difficult, and I cannot accept the statement that any uncertainty has been introduced into the law by the recent decision.