HC Deb 02 April 1908 vol 187 cc659-60

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether negotiations have been entered into by the Congested Districts Board for the purchase of the Blake estate, in the Claremorris union, county Mayo; is he aware that die need exists for the improvement of the condition of the tenants on this estate owing to the smallness of their holdings, the inferior quality of the land, and the loss sustained yearly in consequence of the harvest flooding of an adjoining river; that these negotiations appear to have been broken off by the Board, although the landlord and tenants have agreed to leave the matter in their hands; and, if so, why; and when will they reopen them with a view to completing a sale that would bring immediate relief to a body of impoverished tenantry.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The estate in question has been offered for sale to the Congested Districts Board, but the Board have been obliged to suspend the negotiations for the purchase of this and other tenanted estates, the reason being that the funds of the Board are at present insufficient for the execution of the necessary improvement works. For a full statement of the case I would refer the hon. Member to my Answer to the Question of the hon. Member for East Mayo on 4th March last. The Board cannot at present say when it will be possible to resume negotiations for purchase.