HC Deb 25 February 1896 vol 37 cc1070-1

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he can state how many tenants who had their rent fixed under the Land Act, 1881, were entitled after the 29th September and 1st November last to apply again to have a fair rent fixed; (2) how many applications to fix fair rents for a second statutory term have actually been lodged up to the present, either in the Land Commission or the County Court; (3) whether any of such applications have been heard; and (4) whether the hearing of any of them has been delayed by the Land Commission, pursuant to Judge Bewley's undertaking that the result of such applications would await the passing of the proposed Land Bill?


In answer to the first question I have to say that 36,000 applications to have fair rents fixed were recorded as having been made to the Court on the first occasion upon which it sat after the passing of the Land Act of 1881, and the tenant who had his fair rent fixed in any such application would be now entitled to apply again to have his fair rent fixed for a second statutory term. In a considerable number of these applications the originating notices were subsequently either withdrawn, struck out, or dismissed, and in a large number the tenants subsequently purchased their holdings; the Land Commission are, therefore, unable to state in how many of the 36,000 cases the tenants would now be in a position to apply again to have fair rents fixed. (2) The total number of applications which have been made to the Court to fix fair rents for a second statutory term, inclusive of cases transferred from Civil Bill Courts, is 245. (3) The Commissioners understand that some applications to fix fair rents for a second statutory term have been, heard by some of the County Court Judges to whose Courts the applications were made, but up to the present date the decision in only one such case has been notified to the Land Commission. In the Land Commission Court only three of such cases have been disposed of to date, the applications having been struck out, the tenants not being at present entitled to apply to the Court. (4) The Land Commission has not yet sent down for hearing any of such applications to the Sub-Commissions which are at present employed in disposing of fair-rent applications for a first statutory term. No undertaking, but only an expression of opinion, was given by Mr. Justice Bewley in the matter.