HC Deb 28 July 1896 vol 43 cc928-31

(1.) Where an absolute order for the sale of an estate, comprising holdings to which this section applies has been made under the Landed Estates Court (Ireland) Act, 1858, and either a receiver has been appointed over the estate or the estate is so circumstanced that it would independently of this Act be sold without the consent of the owner as to price, the following provisions shall have effect:—

  1. (a) The Land Commission shall, at the request of the Land Judge, cause the estate to be inspected, and a report to be made by two Commissioners respecting the estate, and the circumstances thereof, and the price at, and the conditions under which, the sale of the holdings to the tenants under the Land Purchase Acts can properly be made.
  2. (b) The Land Judge, after giving all parties, including the tenants, an opportunity of being heard, and considering the report and any offers that may be made for the purchase of the estate or any part thereof, and any other matters that may be brought before him, and the general circumtances of the estate, shall make to the person appearing to be in occupation as tenant of each holding on the estate, an offer to sell to him the fee-simple of the holding, and the arrears of rent then due from ham in respect thereof, at such price, and subject to such condition, whether 929 as to the payment of part of the price in cash, or as to the offer to one tenant being conditional on the acceptance by other tenants of the offers made to them within a limited time, or otherwise, as the Land Judge may consider reasonable and just, having regard to the interest of all persons interested in the estate.
  3. (c) The offer shall be communicated in such manner as the Land Commission think fit to the person appearing to be in occupation as tenant, and if it is accepted then on fulfilment of the conditions the said person shall be doomed to have agreed to purchase the holding within the meaning of the Land Purchase Acts, and the sale shall be completed accordingly.
  4. (f) If it appears to the Land Judge that the tenants of holdings on the estate to the extent of not less than three-fourths in number and value according to the rateable value under the Irish Valuation Acts, have accepted the offers under this section, he may, if having regard to the circumstances of the case he thinks it expedient, order that the remaining tenants or any of them shall be deemed to have accepted the offers made to them, and this section and the Land Purchase Acts shall apply accordingly; provided that such order shall not apply to any tenant if the purchase-money of his holding would exceed the limitation on the amount of the advance imposed by section two of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Amendment Act, 1888, and the holding of such tenant shall not be taken into consideration in estimating the three - fourths above mentioned.
  5. (e.) Where a receiver has been appointed over part of an estate this section shall apply to that part in like manner as if it were an estate.
  6. (f.) The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply only to holdings which are agricultural or pastoral, or partly agricultural and partly pastoral.

(2.) Any person in occupation of and paying-rent for a parcel of land (including the owner of an estate in occupation of a mansion house or demesne forming part of the estate) held under a letting by the Land Judge or Receiver Judge may agree to purchase such parcel of land, and the same shall be deemed a holding and such person a tenant, and the Land Judge or Receiver Judge, as the case may be, a landlord within the meaning of the Land Purchase Acts.

(3.) At any time after an absolute order for the sale of an estate or part of an estate has been made in pursuance of the Landed Estates Court (Ireland) Act, 1858, the foregoing provisions of this section so far as they are applicable may upon the application of the owner be applied to such estate, although a receiver has not been appointed over the estate, and the estate is not so circumstanced that it would, independently of this Act, be sold without the consent of the owner as to price; provided that no advance shall be made to the owner to purchase any mansion house or demesne forming part of the estate.

(4.) Rules under Part Two of this Act may be made for carrying into effect this section.

SIR R. PENROSE FITZGERALD (Cambridge) moved to omit Clause 31. His main object in doing so was to call attention to the fact that for the first time the clause practically inserted the thin end of the wedge of compulsory purchase. It first of all sanctioned compulsory sale against the wish or consent of the legal owner; it would possibly interfere with the tenants also, and it imported compulsory interference with the discretion of the mortgagees. He thought it would be a hard case, and contrary to the interests of Ireland, if those men, who were living on their estates and doing what good they could, were compulsorily sold up without having the chance of redeeming their property. ["Hear, hear!"]


said he honestly believed this was one of the most valuable clauses in the Bill for the landlords. He would ask the landlords to take a cool opinion from some unprejudiced persons as to whether this Bill by its purchase clauses would not shoot sovereigns into their pockets. This clause would bring forward the money of the Treasury to their aid and prevent the lowering of the land market. That any landlord should object to it, to use the expression of a learned judge in Ireland, simply capsized his intelligence. [Laughter.]


called attention to the amount of money invested in Irish property by English and Scotch insurance offices, which he put at £7,000,000. He saw that an organ of hon. Gentlemen opposite welcomed this clause because it would hit these insurance companies, and they regarded it as a commencement of a fresh agrarian revolution; and he protested against the clause because he believed it would it those who deserved, perhaps, more that others, the protection of Parliament.

Motion negatived.

Clause 32,—