HC Deb 25 March 1907 vol 171 cc1476-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, when on the sale of an entire estate the owner and the tenant of a non-residential farm on it concur in the desire to sell their respective interests in that farm for the purpose of allowing it to be distributed among descendants of tenants evicted from it previous to 1878, if the Estates Commissioners have power to give effect to that purpose by buying up the entire estate, including the two interests in that farm, will he ask them to do it in the case of the Kavanagh Estate, Streete, Westmeath; and, if they lack power, will he endeavour to have it conferred upon them this session.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Estates Commissioners inform me that, in the case of proceedings for the sale of an estate, they can in exceptional cases apply, out of the reserve fund, moneys for the purchase of an existing tenant's interest in order to effect the restoration of an evicted tenant who comes within the provisions of the Act; but they have no power to make an advance from the Land Purchase Fund for the purchase of a tenant's interest. If, however, the tenant surrenders his interest to the landlord as the result of a direct agreement between themselves, the Commissioners are in a position to purchase the farm as untenanted land. The descendants of persons evicted prior to 1878 are as such ineligible to receive parcels of land under the Act of 1903. The Commissioners cannot trace the Kavanagh Estate as being the subject of proceedings before them.