§ MR. BIGNOLD (Wick Burghs)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fact that in 1897 Judge Ross granted a lease of the demesne of Woodstock, three and a half miles from Galway, to Thomas N. Redington, farmer, thus described, but really a lawyer's clerk in the office of his father, Mr. John Redington, receiver over the estate, whereby the receiver, John Redington, and not his son, really became tenant of these lands, 133 acres, 3 roods, 7 perches; and, having regard to the landless condition of the people in the neighbourhood of Galway, will he inquire into the matter, and can he take steps with the view of having the lease cancelled, which has been granted to a person incorrectly described.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
The validity of the lease in question was recently challenged in the proceedings before Mr. Justice Ross. The judge then sent an independent official to the locality to report on all the circumstances, including the adequacy of the rent reserved in the lease. The official reported in favour of the bona fides of the letting and that the land had been let at its full value. Accordingly the judge refused to set aside the lease. The official, however, reported that the sum of £100 should be added to the price offered by the lessee for timber. This sum the lessee refused to give and the judge has ordered the lands to be sold by public sale in the ordinary way to the highest bidder.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
Is it a fact as stated in the question that the person to whom the lease was granted was a clerk in the office of the receiver, and the receiver's son?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I do not know whether I should be justified in cross-examining the judge on the matter.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I am not suggesting that the judge should be cross-examined; I am asking if the right hon. Gentleman can get a definite answer to a definite question—was the lease granted to the receiver's own son?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Well, I will ask if that information can be obtained, and if there is any objection to giving it.