§ MR. BODKIN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has observed that, according to the last monthly Return of the Court of the Irish Land Commission, at the end of October last the arrears of fair-rent applications waiting a hearing amounted to 3,643 cases; that with four Sub-Commissions al work the reduction of arrears of applications during that month amounted to only 170; that in the number of cases set out in the Return as disposed of in October there was the abnormal and exceptional number of 283 cases withdrawn from hearing before the Chief Commission as compared with one such withdrawal in the previous month of September, when the arrears, instead of being reduced, were largely increased; whether, since the month of October, a vacancy has occurred in the position of Legal Sub-Commissioner by the death of Mr. Trench, Q.C., leaving only three effective Sub-Commissions; and whether that vacancy has since been filled up; and, if not, whether he will cause an 1014 appointment to be made immediately, in view of the urgent necessity of speedily disposing of the arrears of business in the Irish Land Commission Court?
MR. J. MORLEY
The difference between the total number of applications received by the Commissioners to the end of October last and the total number disposed of to the same date is 3,643, as stated in the question. The figures "170" appear to have been arrived at by deducting the difference between the total number of applications received and disposed of in October from the difference of the same total numbers for September. The Land Commissioners state that the actual progress made in the disposal of arrears of fair-rent applications cannot be judged by this method, as numbers of applications which are heard and inspected during particular months are often necessarily held over for adjudication; 11,215 applications have been disposed of between January 1, 1892, from which the permanent organisation of the Land Commission dates, and November 30, 1893, the date of the last published Return of proceedings. The total number of applications received during the same period was 5,291, and, excluding applications where the holdings have been sold or are being sold under the Purchase Acts and applications where the parties have since agreed out of Court, there were 2,148 applications remaining to be heard by the Courts of the Sub-Commission on November 30 last. The vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Trench has been filled up.