HC Deb 11 March 1897 vol 47 cc488-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state what was the total amount of arrears on the Warden estate at Sneem, in the County of Kerry, when the estate was purchased by its present owner; whether he is aware that the arrears were purchased for a sum insignificant in comparison with their nominal amount; that the present landlord is exacting the arrears in full, together with interest at the rate of four per cent.; that several evictions have taken place; and that the rates in the district are now nearly ten shillings in the pound on the poor law valuation; and whether the Government propose to take any action towards relieving a condition of things most dangerous to the peace of the country?


My information does not enable me to state what was the total amount of arrears on this estate at the time it was purchased by the present owner, nor the sum paid for these arrears. I am informed, however, that the landlord has been collect- the arrears by easy instalments, and that he has not charged any interest on them. The rates in the district amount to nine shillings in the pound on the valuation—a sum which, I understand, is lower than before the present owner purchased the property. There have been several evictions on the estate since Mr. Warden came into possession, and I have no reason to believe that any of these evictions was a case of hardship. The tenants evicted owed from 2½ to 9 years' rent, and the last eviction was in June 1895, the tenant in this case owing 6 years' rent. There is nothing in the state of affairs in the district calling for the intervention of Government, and obviously the Government cannot interfere in the mangement of the estate. I desire to add that the information before me leads me to think that Mr. Warden is an excellent landlord, who is anxious for the welfare of the tenants holding under him, and spends his money freely in order to provide them with work, and so help them in a businesslike way out of their difficulties, which are, in considerable measure, due to the lax administration of the estate by its previous owners.