§ Mr. P. O'BRIEN (for Mr. James O'Kelly)
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention had been drawn to the circumstances of the sale of certain lands at Fox- 195 boro', county Roscommon, by a landlord named Taafe, to a middleman named Laven, to the exclusion of the sub-tenants, 10 in number; whether the sub-tenants had declared their anxiety to purchase through the Land Commissioners and to have their present non-economic holdings increased by the addition of portions of the untenanted land upon the estate; whether the sum agreed upon between the landlord and the middleman to be advanced by the Commissioners was £4,050, which worked out at about 37 years' purchase; whether the middleman who entered into this agreement was not a farmer but a Dublin publican; whether there was any reasonable prospect of his being able to carry out his undertaking; and whether, under the circumstances, the Commissioners would be asked to review this case with the two-fold object of securing the ratepayers from future loss, and of obtaining the benefits of the Land Act for the sub-tenants.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The Estates Commissioners inform me that the owner has instituted proceedings for the direct sale to the tenants of the estate referred to. The man named in the question has agreed to purchase his holding, which is stated in the purchase agreement to contain 142 acres of the lands of Foxborough, held by him as a yearly tenant at a rent of £250. He has applied for an advance of £4,050, being 16.2 years' purchase of the rent. When the estate is being dealt with in order of priority the usual inquiries will be made as to sub-tenants.
§ Mr. CULLINAN
As it is in the power of the Estates Commissioners to refuse to make these advances unless the subtenants are treated with, will the right hon. Gentleman see that the sub-tenants are considered?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
When they consider the case the Estates Commissioners will bear in mind the position of the sub-tenants.