§ Mr. SLOAN
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that only three or four tenants out of twenty-eight or thirty on the West Division, Carrickfergus estate, have signed purchase agreements within the zones; whether these lands form a compact block of holding; and whether, in view of the fact that the Estates Commissioners, in a letter dated 15th January last, suggested that the said lands should be declared a separate estate, he can say if the Commissioners now propose to declare the three or four scattered holdings an estate out of the West Division, and pay the bonus thereon if the majority refused to sign at the prices demanded under threat of isolation; and, if so, will he take steps, in the coming Land Bill, to protect tenants, and withhold the bonus under such circumstances.
(Answered, by Mr. Birrell.) The Estate Commissioners inform me that thirty six tenants on the land known as the West Division, Carrickfergus estate, have signed agreements to purchase, and that advances are being made to them. As already stated in reply to the hon. Member's previous Question, the Commissioners are not prepired to refuse advances to the tenants because other tenants do not wish to purchase.