§ 50. Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
asked the Prime Minister when he intends to introduce the Irish Land Purchase Bill; and whether it is his intention to carry it through all its stages in the House of Commons during the present Session?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I must refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave yesterday on this subject. I cannot yet give a date for the introduction of the Bill.
§ 91. Mr. DANIEL BOYLE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if the offer of the Congested Districts Board for the Saunders Knox-Gore estate, Ballycastle, county Mayo, has yet been accepted; if not, are negotiations still in progress between the Board and the owner; and can he state when the Board expect the sale to be completed?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The offer of the Congested Districts Board for the purchase of this property has not yet been accepted, and negotiations are still pending. The Board cannot say when it is likely that the sale of the property will be completed.
§ 92. Mr. DANIEL BOYLE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what progress has been made by the Congested Districts Board towards the purchase of the estate of Mrs. Perry Knox Gore, in the parish of Attymass, near Ballina, county Mayo; is he aware that a relatively large tract of grazing land on this estate has really been given to a bailiff, thus appreciably 1441 lessening the land available for the small congested holdings on the estate being improved when the purchase is completed; and will he state if the Congested Districts Board may refuse to recognise a tenancy of this character as bonâ fide?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Congested Districts Board have recently issued an offer for the purchase of this estate, which has not so far been accepted. The Board have no information regarding the alleged letting of any of the grazing land, for which they have made an offer on the supposition that it is untenanted.
§ 94. Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, seeing that the Estates Commissioners have exercised the powers conferred on them by Clause 15 of the Land Act of 1903 and declared Cornelius Sheehan, of Ballyvourney, county Cork, a sub-tenant on the estate of Sir George Colthurst, should be deemed a tenant of a parcel of land and entitled to purchase, he can explain the delay in vesting the holding in him; whether he is aware that this man has been several times, since the estate was sold, processed for rent by Good from whom he held as sub-tenant; whether, since the Estates Commissioners made the order referred to, Good has really any rights as a landlord; whether the purchase price in this case was agreed to about two years ago and a purchase agreement actually signed by Sheehan; and why, therefore, have the Commissioners not put into operation Subsection (2) of Clause 15 of the Act of 1903 as they are compulsorily obliged to do?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners declared, under Section 15 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, that Sheehan should be deemed a tenant for the purposes of sale under that Act of the parcel of land in his occupation as sub-tenant. Pending the sale of the lands under that Act, and in the absence of a consent by the middle tenant, the Commissioners are of opinion that the relationship between the middle tenant and the sub-tenant continues, and that the former is entitled to recover the rent due to him by the sub-tenant. So far the middle tenant in this case has not signified his consent to the sale to Sheehan of the portion of his holding which is sub-let to Sheehan, and having regard to recent judicial decisions, the Commissioners will not vest in Sheehan any portion of the holding in the absence of such a consent. If the parties fail to come to terms the Commissioners will dismiss 1442 the procedings for sale under the Land Purchase Acts of the holding, including the portion in the occupation of Sheehan as sub-tenant.
§ 95. Mr. NEWMAN
asked the acreage of demesne and untenanted land acquired recently by the Estates Commissioners from the estate of Messrs. Higginbotham, and others, near Borrisokane, the amount of public money that was advanced to purchase the lands in question, the number of individuals among whom it is proposed to distribute them; whether any Grants, and, if so, to what amount, are to be made to the successful applicants to equip and stock their holdings when allotted; and whether, owing to local disapproval of several nominees to parcels of the land, the town of Borrisokane has had to be occupied by a force of police to protect the Estates Commissioners in their work of division and allotment?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners have acquired over 800 acres of untenanted land on this estate, the purchase money being £7,915. The lands have been divided in forty allotments, and the allottees have been put in possession, with the exception of a few cases, one of which is an allotment of some 22 acres; to the Borrisokane Rural District Council for the purposes of pasturage by the village tenants. The Commissioners have sanctioned advances for improvements repayable by land purchase annuities amounting to £677, and propose to make Grants for the purchase of stock to the evicted tenants to whom portion of the lands has been allotted. The Estates Commissioners' inspector attended on the lands to give possession to the allottees, and, after he had given possession to the majority of them, there was some local opposition manifested to some of the remaining allotments. In four cases where possession has not been given undertakings to purchase have not been signed by the allottees. The police authorities inform me that no extra police were brought into Borrisokane on the occasion.