HC Deb 03 August 1899 vol 75 cc1300-1
MR. J. O'CONNOR, (Wicklow, W.)

On behalf of the hon. Member for North Meath, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether valuers in the Land Purchase Department of the Irish Land Commission are permitted to make private valuations or not; whether he is aware that on the Garnett estate, in the Land Judge's Court, a Mr. Thomas Roberts, one of the valuators of the Irish Land Commission Court, Purchase Department, made private valuations for the solicitors having carriage of sale, Messrs. Lonfield and Company, which caused the proposed arrangements to purchase by the tenants to fall through; and whether this gentleman, being a small incumbrancer on the property, was permitted to do so by the Land Commission; whether this Mr. Roberts, who is considerably over sixty-five years of age, will be continued as a Commissioner; and whether, in view of the contemplated sale of the portions of this estate in the hands of the encumbrancer and the recent advertisements of sale proposing to create tenancies and divide it into small areas from three acres to 150, the Congested Districts Board be consulted with a view to their purchasing this estate.


All valuers in land purchase cases for the Land Commission are now Assistant-Commissioners. Assistant-Commissioners paid by annual salary are not permitted to make valuations of land, save in the performance of their duties for the Land Commission. Prior to his appointment in 1897 as a salaried Assistant-Commissioner, Mr. Thomas Roberts, who is an incumbrancer on the estate referred to, was Receiver over that estate. On his appointment in 1897 he resigned the Receivership, and states that he thereupon handed over his books and papers connected with the estate to the new Receiver. He further states that at no time did he inspect the estate for the purpose of valuing it or any part of it for sale, and never made any valuation for the solicitor having carriage of the sale. As to the last paragraph, if the estate referred to is in a congested district, a point upon which I have no information, any proposal that may come before the Congested Districts Board for its purchase would, of course, be considered.