§ MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon. S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Mullingar Rural District Council have passed a resolution protesting against the award of the arbitrator appointed under the Labourers Acts in the Mullingar rural district; and that the amounts allowed landlords for their interest in the plots of land proposed to be taken under the scheme now in course of promotion, are greatly in excess of those hitherto allowed; and, if so, whether he can state the reason for the increase; and whether, seeing that the arbitrator is a professional land agent, he will say whether it is usual to appoint land agents to such a position involving the fixing of the amount to be paid for the interest of a landlord in land; and whether he will state the average number of years purchase awarded in the last award in this rural district and similar averages in the previous awards in the same district, also the number of arbitrations of this class in which this gentleman had been previously engaged.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOE IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
The arbitrator who made the award of which the District Council complains is the Official Land Commission Valuer for County Leitrim. The Local Government Board has every confidence in his impartiality. The Board does not consider that the holding of a land agency should of itself disqualify a person from appointment as arbitrator when the Board is otherwise satisfied as to his qualifications and impartiality. In the present award the compensation averages £23 an acre. In the previous award it represented £20 an acre. The present arbitrator was employed in one previous case in Longford, when no complaint was made.