§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, in view of the fact that the case of Henry James M'Farlane, owner, v. William Joseph Hepburn, petitioner, which is a petition for the sale of the estate of the owner, has been pending in the Land Judges Court in Ireland since the 9th of March, 1881, and that an absolute order was made for the sale so far back as the 14th of June, 1881, he will ascertain on what grounds and by what authority this case was transferred from the Land Judge's Court to the Court of the Irish Land Commission; and whether, seeing that the latter Court has since the beginning of the present year adjourned the case till the next sittings, and that the latter adjournment was decided upon behind the back of the tenants, who are anxious for a sale of the lands, and on a day in which the case had not been listed for hearing, he will state what explanation, if any, its officials connected with the Land Judges Department and the Land Commission have to make for the irregularities which have taken place in this matter.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Mr. Justice Ross has not interfered with this estate, inasmuch as he is personally interested in it. The matter was transferred, not to the Land Commission, but to Mr. Justice Meredith, sitting as a Land Judge by virtue of the regulations made pursuant to Section 23 of the Land Law Act, 1896. I understand that the estate would long since have been sold but for the action of a few of the tenants in claiming rights which were always exclusively reserved. In consequence of this the negotiations fell through, and all the parties interested in the estate served notice to dismiss the petition for sale. This motion Judge Meredith adjourned to October.