HC Deb 05 April 1894 vol 22 cc1433-4

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware of the large number of tenants in Ireland whose holdings have been exempted from the benefits of the Land Acts; whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. John Robb, of Belfast, tenant, and the Marquess of Downshire, landlord, where the Land Commission decided to fix an extra rent on the improvements made by the tenant, without any contribution from the landlord, on the ground that such improvements were too good for the holding; and whether the terms of Reference to the proposed Committee will be so extended as to include inquiry into the cases now excluded by the defects of the Land Acts, but which are equally entitled to the benefits which these Acts were intended to confer on all the farmers of Ireland?


I am not aware of the actual number of the holdings ex- cluded from the operation of the Acts. In reply to the second part of the question, the Land Acts do not entitle a tenant to exemption from rent in respect of improvements which are unsuitable to the holding, and I am informed that the Land Commission decided in this particular case that the improvements in question should not be exempted from rent because they were not suitable to the holding, treating it as an agricultural or pastoral holding. In reply to the third paragraph, I am not prepared to admit that the provisions above mentioned do constitute a defect in these Acts, or that the Legislature intended that these Acts should confer such benefits as the question refers to.