§ 15. Colonel M'CALMONT
asked the Chief Secretary whether Mrs. O'Brien, a member of the Rathkeale District Council, has been allotted seven acres of the Clounriesk untenanted lands, Hewson estate, county Limerick; and whether he is aware that there are a number of labourers in the division who are anxious to get parcels of land, and that the seven acres allotted to Mrs. O'Brien would have gone a long way towards supplying their wants?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
With regard to the first paragraph of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the question on this subject asked by the hon. Member for South Antrim on the 25th July. The allotment of the lands was made by the Estates Commissioners after inquiry and in the exercise of the discretion vested in them.
§ 17. Mr. AUGUSTINE ROCHE
asked the Chief Secretary under what circumstances was a considerable tract of land in the Clermont demesne, county Louth, which was purchased by the Estates Commissioners for distribution amongst evicted tenants, given by them to Colonel Guinness, then commanding a battery of Royal Field Artillery in Dundalk; and what provision do the Commissioners propose to make for the evicted tenants in county Louth who up to the present have not been restored to their farms or provided with equivalent lands elsewhere?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners acquired Clermont demesne, county Louth, under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and not under the Evicted Tenants Act as suggested in the question. The Commissioners divided the lands, and provided holdings for eight evicted tenants, and two sons of tenants, and they gave enlargements to seventeen tenants of other holdings, and in addition allotted forty acres to the rural district council for the purposes of the Labourers Acts. The division which included the mansion house was not suitable for sub-division, and as a considerable portion of the price was in respect of the buildings the full purchase money could not be advanced subject to a land purchase annuity. It was accordingly let to Colonel Guinness, who agreed to purchase it, and to pay portion of the purchase money in cash. There is only one evicted tenant in county Louth who has been noted for consideration in the allotment of untenanted land, and who has not yet been provided with a holding.
§ 18. Mr. LYNCH
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether on the Westby estate, Kilballyowen, West Clare, of which the division among the tenants has been long awaited, the holder of a portion of the estates is putting up large buildings which would be useless in the event of the distribution of the land among the uneconomic tenants; and whether the fears of these tenants are justified that in this case the Land Act of 1909 is to remain a dead letter or, if not, whether steps will be taken to deal with this estate without further delay?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
This estate is the subject of proceedings for sale direct by the owner to the tenants under the Irish Land Act, 1903. The Estates Commissioners have no information as to the erection of buildings by one of the tenants, and they have no power to deal with the estate until it is reached in proper order of priority.
§ 21. Mr. JOYCE
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the case of the tenants on the Walsh and Bryon estate, consisting of 600 acres of land in the townlands of Keyanna, Killonan, and Ballyclough, in the county of Limerick; is he aware of the fact that the tenants on this estate signed their purchase agreements in the year 1905, and the estate was inspected several years since; why have those tenants not got their vesting orders; can he say in what manner do the landlords intend to get paid, whether in cash or in stock; have there been any difficulties regarding titles or legatees, and, if so, of what nature; is he aware that those tenants cannot get loans from the Board of Works for the improvement of their farms until the lands are vested in them; and whether taking all those matters into account, and in view of the desirability of a final settlement, he will see that a vesting order will be issued as soon as possible?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
This estate is the subject of proceedings for sale direct by the vendors to the tenants under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and is on the principal register of direct sales (all cash). The Estates Commissioners hope to be in a position to advance the purchase money, and vest the holdings in the purchasing tenants at an early date.