§ Mr. FLYNN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Estates Commis- 1338 sioners have yet sanctioned the purchase scheme of the Rathcoole portion of the estate of Sir George Colthurst, baronet (near Banteer, county Cork); if so, can they explain why four sub-tenants—namely, John Buckley, Patrick Lane, and John O'Leary, of Laght, and William Coleman, of Bolomore—who signed agreements, have not received due notification of the purchase arrangements; and whether these sub-tenants are to be included in the sale?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. R. R. Cherry)
I am informed by the Estates Commissioners that the holdings on this estate have been vested in the tenants. The portions of the holdings which were sub-let were not declared to be separate holdings for the purpose of the sale, and the occupiers continue to be sub-tenants to the purchasing tenants.
§ Mr. J. C. FLYNN
Has the right hon. Gentleman any information to show him that these sub-tenants actually signed their agreements, that the price was agreed between them and their immediate landlord, and can he say why the Commissioners have not dealt with these cases?
§ Mr. CHERRY
I have no information to that effect; in any case, it is within the discretion of the Estates Commissioners to decide whether they will sell to the subtenants or to the tenants direct.
§ Mr. P. J. O'SHAUGHNESSY
Should not sub-tenants who are in occupation get a preference of purchase above the heads of the tenants, and was not that the intention of the Act of 1903?
§ Mr. CHERRY
No, Sir. The Act of 1903 left a discretion to the Estates Commissioners to deal directly with the subtenants, but there was no obligation upon them to take that course.
§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
Will the right hon. Gentleman communicate with the Estates Commissioners and tell them that in all cases tenants in occupation should have the right of preference to their holdings?