§ Mr. FRANCIS MEEHAN
asked whether in the case of small minorities of tenants on estates now sold who have for special and reasonable reasons refused to sign purchase agreements and are being harassed by their landlords, the Congested Districts Board have power to intervene, with a view of bringing about the complete sale of those estates, and thus avert the destruction of many homes?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
When portion of an estate situated in a congested districts county is being sold by direct sale through the Estates Commissioners, the Congested Districts Board are not prepared to intervene as regards unsold holdings until the sale through the Commissioners is completed.
§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what is the total cost of the Irish Land Commission, and of the land purchase department of the Congested Districts Board now as compared with the cost when the Land Purchase Act of 1903 was introduced?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The estimate of the expenditure of the Irish Land Commission for the financial year 1903-4, which was prepared without reference to the Irish Land Act, 1903, amounted to £131,740 net. The amount of the estimate for the current financial year is £544,395 net. Since the passing of the Irish Land Acts of 1903 and 1909, however, a number of additional payments, amounting, in the whole to £365,000 for the current year, have had to be provided for annually, all of which are borne on the Vote for the Irish Land Commission.. These additional charges cover 963 the dividends and Sinking Fund required for the stock set apart for the purposes of the Land Purchase Aid Fund, the dividends and Sinking Fund required to be provided in the case of the issue of stock at a discount, and provision for the improvement of estates. The total cost of the Land Purchase Department of the Congested Districts Board cannot be given, as some of the indoor and outdoor staff of the Board are engaged in work other than land purchase.