§ MR. SEXTON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that five tenants of the Dalway Estate (Carrickfergus), who purchased their holdings in the Landed Estates Court in 1884, paying down one-fourth of the purchase money, and who, about two years since, were awarded small sums as compensation for a narrow cut made through their farms by the Belfast Water Commissioners, have been ordered by the Land Commission to pay over these moneys to them; whether the Commission refused the offer of the tenants' solicitor to pay the cost of a valuation to determine whether the value of the holdings had been materially affected; and that, in addi- 523 tion to the fourth part of the purchase money deposited in 1884,; the instalments falling due since then have all been regularly paid; whether the Commission suggest that the holdings, i.e., the value of the combined interests of the landlord and the tenants, are not security for the price of the landlord's interests, less one-fourth already deposited, and seven years' instalments, of the remainder; whether the Commission have claimed to impound the sums awarded to the tenant purchasers till the end of the term of 49 years; and whether, they intend to persist in. their demand?
§ MR. JACKSON
The Irish Land Commissioners apprehend from the terms of the question that their practice in such cases as this referred to is misunderstood by the hon. Member. The Commissioners are of opinion that where any portion of a holding purchased under the Land Purchase Acts is subsequently sold, the capital sum received must be applied to reduce the mortgage debt due to the State. The effect of this is not to impound the sums awarded till the end of 49 years, but it causes an immediate reduction in the capital amount due by the tenant purchaser to Government, with a consequential immediate reduction in the amount of half-yearly instalments payable. The tenant purchaser benefits by the reduction, and the security to the State for the original advance is preserved. The Commissioners do not consider that it would be advisable to adopt any other course.
§ MR. SEXTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Commissioners whether they will consider that these tenants had to incur considerable cost and loss of time, in proving their case before the arbitrator, and will they allow the amount of these costs and the value of the loss of time to come out of the award?
§ MR. JACKSON
I see the particular point raised by the hon. Member, but I apprehend that the purchaser gets all the advantages of the payment, and I do not see the inconvenience. I apprehend that when land is taken under the Land Clauses Act compulsorily, the ex- 524 penses are paid by the purchaser. I think the principle acted upon by the Commissioners is a sound one, that the tenant purchaser really gets all the advantages.