HC Deb 20 February 1894 vol 21 cc837-8
MR. CARSON (Dublin University)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the case of "Gormican u. M'Cartin," recently heard before the Commissioners, in which Mr. Morrogh O'Brien, the newly appointed Commissioner, refused to act even on the evidence of the tenant's valuer, and fixed the fair rent of the holding 7 per cent. below the sum sworn to by the tenant's valuer as the fair rent; is he aware that two Sub-Commissioners and two official valuers independently visited and valued the holding field by field, and estimated the fair rent at £.52 10s., and that Mr. Commissioner O'Brien, who had never seen the land, fixed the rent 25 per cent. under the valuation of such official valuers and Sub-Commissioners; and whether, upon similar principles, it will be legal for the Land Commissioner's Court to fix a rent in excess of the fair rent deposed to by the landlord's valuers and the official valuers?


I wish to draw attention to this question. The hon. and learned Gentleman in this question proposes to attack the action of Mr. Commissioner O'Brien acting in his judicial capacity, and I wish to ask whether it is competent for the hon. and learned Gentleman to put such a question to the Chief Secretary?


I submit that no attack is contained in the question. I simply ask as to certain facts. The form of the question has already been altered at the Table.


It is matter requiring grave consideration whether the question, which seems to reflect on the newly-appointed Commissioner, can be put in its present form. I have no doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman could so frame it as to put it in Order.


I bog to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland upon what authority Mr. Commissioner O'Brien of the Irish Land Commission recently in a case on the Nugent Humble Estate made allegations against the landlord and tenants of attempts to commit a fraud upon the said Court without hearing any evidence or giving the parties an opportunity of being heard or examined; whether he is aware that the decision of Mr. Commissioner O'Brien was afterwards reversed by the other Land Commissioners who, upon investigation of the case and hearing the evidence, stated there was no ground whatever for the allegations made by Mr. Commissioner O'Brien; and whether there is any power to compel Mr. Commissioner O'Brien or the Land Commissioners to pay the costs of the rehearing occasioned by Mr. Commissioner O'Brien's decision?


In this question also charges are made against the same Commissioner, and I would suggest that the hon. and learned Member likewise re-edit it.


I think the form of this question may also require revision. I will give both my careful consideration before they again appear on the Paper.