§ Mr. SLOAN
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Estates Commissioners sent a letter to a tenant called M'Kaig, of the West Division, Carrickfergus, estate, on 23rd December last, threatening to exclude his holding from being sold unless he agreed 859 to terms which ho considered unjust; if he will order in this case a special inquiry or inspection in order to have a proper price fixed; and whether he will cause in due course a final notice to be issued of the exact date when purchase moneys are to be advanced and mentioning a stated time for the tenants to sign or otherwise.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The Estates Commissioners inform me that on 23rd December, 1907, a letter was sent to T. M'Kaig, informing him that the Commissioners were prepared to make an advance for the purchase of his holding in the event of his signing an agreement for purchase at such a price as would represent a reduction of 15 per cent, in his rent, and that in the event of his declining to accept those terms the Commissioners would exclude his holding from the present sale. If at any future time M'Kaig and the other outstanding tenants on the estate mentioned in the Question should come to terms and sign purchase agreements, the Commissioners will be prepared to treat their holdings as a separate estate; but the Commissioners are not prepared to delay the completion of the sale of the portion of the estate on which tenants have agreed to purchase. The Commissioners do not consider that a new inquiry or inspection is necessary. It is not the practice, nor do the Commissioners consider it necessary, to give notice to tenants who have not agreed to purchase of the exact date when advances will be made to the purchasing tenants.