§ MR. JAMES DALY (Monaghan, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether the Irish Land Commission intend to evict Patrick McGinn, Corryogan, on decree got recently at Quarter Sessions, Castleblaney; (2) whether he is aware that McGinn sold his farm by auction in January last, and that Mr. Bailie, Crown Solicitor, Castleblaney, by letter dated 1st February 1896, directed the auctioneer to return the deposit to the 255 purchaser, as the sale could not be carried out owing to McGinn not having the title-deed of his farm; (3) whether the deed of McGinn's farm has been with the Irish Land Commissioners since 1894; (4) whether he is aware that if McGinn had had his deed in January last the recent law proceedings would have been unnecessary; and, (5) whether he will stay the eviction of McGinn until he gets the deed of his farm and enable him to sell, seeing that only 12 months annuity was due against McGinn up to 1st May last?
§ *THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
The object of the proceedings referred to in the first paragraph was to recover on the decree, through the Sheriff, three instalments due by Patrick McGinn. The Commissioners do not intend on that decree to evict McGinn, but if the Sheriff fails to levy the amount, they will have to consider what further proceedings should be taken with a view to the sale of the holding. There is nothing at present to prevent Patrick McGinn selling the holding himself, and the Commissioners would much prefer that he should do so than that they should be forced to sell the holding for default. As to the second paragraph, it does not appear to be correct to say that Mr. Bailie "directed the auctioneer to return the deposit to the purchaser, as the sale could not be carried out owing to McGinn not having the title-deed of his farm." It does, however, appear that the sale fell through, partly, at all events, in consequence of Mr. Bailie's failure to ascertain that an application for registration had been duly lodged. Mr. Bailie was not acting in his capacity as Crown Solicitor, nor was he acting on behalf of the Land Commission. The Questions in paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 seem to have been put under a complete misapprehension. McGinn could have sold his farm on the occasion referred to if proper searches and inquiries had been made in the Local Registration of Title Office. In no case, as has been before explained, are copies of deeds returned under such circumstances. As before indicated, the Commissioners are prepared to consider an application from McGinn to allow him a reasonable time to sell his holding before they take steps for that purpose. They are in no way 256 responsible for the failure which appears to have occurred.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member is replying upon the answer. The Question has been fully answered.