§ MR. JAMES O'CONNOR
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Thomas Whelan, of Aghowle, county Wicklow, is now a defaulting purchaser under the Land Act, 1903; that his holding was recently put up for sale by the Estates Commissioners, but, owing to the amount of the annuity, no bid was made; whether he is aware that Whelan had to sign a second-term agreement before purchasing; that the landlord, Earl Fitzwilliam, charged the tenant twenty-four and a half years purchase, and added to the purchase money two years arrears of rent; that the rateable valuation of the holding, including 5s. for the house, was £1, while the annuity payable on the purchase is £1 9s. 6d.; will he say whether any valuation of Whelan's holding was made before the statutory second term was fixed, or before the sale was sanctioned by the Commissioners; if so, who was the valuer; were the Commissioners satisfied that this was an economic holding; and whether, in the interests of the ratepayers, he will cause inquiry to be made into all the circumstances of this case.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The tenant purchaser referred to in the Question purchased his holding at a price within the zones under the Act of 1903. Inspection, therefore, was unnecessary. The holding was recently put up for sale owing to the non-payment of a year's annuity, but no bid was received. The second term Tent was fixed by agreement before the Act of 1903 was passed. When such rents are fixed by agreement, the holdings are not inspected by a valuer. I am not aware of any reason why an inquiry into the matter should be held, 238 and in any event I have no power to direct such an inquiry.