§ MR. PATRICK M'HUGH (Leitrim, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether, in view of the admitted fall in the prices of agricultural produce in Ireland, he will consider the advisability of bringing some pressure within the law to bear on Irish landlords to induce them to give their tenants abatements in rents now due and falling due; and (2), is it his intention to employ the forces of the Crown in carrying out evictions in cases where abatements were refused, and tenants were unable to enter Court in order to have their rents revised?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
I have no means of exercising influence in the direction suggested in the first paragraph of the Question. My information, however, is to the effect that landlords on many estates have given abatements in rents. There is no connection between the employment of the forces of the Crown and the refusal on the part of a landlord to grant an abatement in particular cases, as the sheriff is entitled to demand and receive the protection of the forces of the Crown in executing all decrees of Courts of Justice, and I have no option in the matter. I may add that the number of evictions throughout Ireland in the years 1895 and 1896 was lower than in any year since 1877.
§ MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
asked if the statement of the right hon. Gentleman included the practical evictions, though not the physical evictions, carried out under Section 7 of the Act of 1887?