HC Deb 03 August 1906 vol 162 cc1585-6
MR. DODD (Tyrone, N.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the remarks of Lord Justice Fitzgibbon in the case of Kee versus Doherty, at the Tyrone assizes, with reference to the purchase of the Sinclair Holyhill Estate; whether he is aware that the learned Judge animadverted on the methods of the Land Commission, and described as lamentable that the Land Commission should adopt extraordinary forms, creating confusion and litigation, and whilst anxious about the rights of the landlords should be absolutely silent about the rights of the tenants; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent a repetition of such proceedings.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I have seen a newspaper report of the remarks of Lord Justice Fitzgibbon in the case referred to, but have no information whether the Report is accurate. According to this Report the learned Judge commented on the action of the Land Commission in the matter of mineral rights and sporting rights and thought that the turbary and free rights of the tenants had been in this particular instance insufficiently safeguarded. I have not had time since notice of the Question was given, to obtain the observations of the Land Commission on the matter, and it would, therefore, not be right for me to offer any comments on the case. The matter has not escaped their attention, and is being specially inquired into by the Judicial Commissioner. I may, however, say that the Government have no power to interfere with the judicial action of the Land Commission.