HC Deb 20 February 1908 vol 184 cc990-1

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, why a copy of Mr. Small's Report has been refused to the tenants on the Greenisland estate by the Earl of Shaftesbury; and on what grounds a letter was written by the Estates Commissioners, on 22nd December, 1906, to the solicitors of the Earl of Shaftesbury, undertaking to exclude from the sale any tenants who would sign agreements to pay twenty-six years purchase.

(Answered by Mr. Cherry.) The practice of the Estates Commissioners is to treat the reports of their inspectors as confidential, and following this practice the Commissioners refused to furnish to the tenants a copy of the Report of the inspector referred to in the Question. The Commissioners fully inquired into the reasons why certain of the tenants on the Shaftesbury estate refused to sign purchase agreements on the same terms as those agreed to by the other tenants and they are of opinion that there is no sufficient reason for refusing to proceed with the sale to those tenants who have agreed to purchase.