§ MR. GILHOOLY (Cork County, W.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. Leigh White entered into negotiations for purchase with the tenants of his Castletown Bere estate, and, prior to doing so, he served a number of civil bill ejectments, some of which were for only one year's rent; and seeing that the tenants offered to leave the purchase price to the decision of the Estates Commissioners or Congested Districts Board, whether he will say what action the Estates Commissioners will take in the matter.
§ (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Purchase agreements in respect of the estate referred to were lodged with the Estates Commissioners in December, 1905, but the case has not yet reached its turn to be dealt with. The Commissioners have no knowledge of the circumstances alleged in the question, but will, when dealing with the estate, give full consideration to any facts which may be brought to their notice by the tenants.
§ MR. GILHOOLY
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the tenants on the estate of Mr. Leahy, Castletown Bere, county Cork, and Mr. Leahy agreed to leave to the arbitration of the Estates Commissioners the purchase price the tenants should pay, including arrears, and that subsequently Mr. Leahy wrote to the Estates Commissioners withdrawing from that agreement, and served them with writs and civil bill ejectments; and whether, seeing that the relieving officer of the Castletown Union has been served with fourteen notices of ejectment, he will say what action the Estates Commissioners will take with regard to the sale of this estate.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The hon. Member is under a misapprehension in supposing that the landlord agreed to leave the purchase price in this case to the arbitration of the Estates Commissioners. Last autumn it was represented to the Commissioners that differences existed between the landlord and the tenants as to terms of purchase, whereupon the Commissioners offered their services as conciliators under the Lord-Lieutenant's regulations. At an interview between the Commissioners, the landlord's agent, and the tenant's representatives, it was suggested that the Commissioners should have the holdings inspected, with the object of estimating, for the consideration of the parties, the prices which should be given. The landlord, however, declined to permit inspection or to consider terms of sale for the part of the property in dispute, alleging that the tenants on that part of the property had declined to pay rent for the last year. In the circumstances the Commissioners were obliged to withdraw from the matter, and cannot take further action.