§ 84. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Estates Commissioners are aware of the promise given by Lady Chapman, of Killua Castle, to her congested tenants, to sell her entire estate to the Commissioners under Section 6 of the Land Act of 1903, in order that all the non-residential grass farms might be applied to the relief of the congestion; why the Commissioners entertain the sale in a different manner, making relief impossible; the number of holdings on the estate now derelict in consequence of the congestion; the number which do not comprise any land; the number consisting of less than half an acre each; the total number congested within the meaning of the Land Act of 1909; the number of non-residential grass farms, with their gross acreage; whether some are held by agreements preventing building and tillage; the dates of those alleged agreements; under what Section are such holdings on a congested estate to be sold to graziers; why the Commissioners do not, as a condition of dealing with the estate, require the vendor to exercise her power of having them surrendered and the estate dealt with as congested; and whether the Government propose to take action in this case to prevent the congestion becoming permanent?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The Estates Commissioners inform me that the owner has instituted proceedings for the sale of this estate to them, and at this stage of the negotiations they do not consider it desirable to discuss the terms on which they may acquire the property or the other matters referred to in the question.
§ Mr. GINNELL
May I ask whether the sale of this extensive and congested estate is a matter of such little importance to the right hon. Gentleman that he can give no information about it?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
On the contrary, it is of so much importance to me that inasmuch as the owner has instituted proceedings for the sale of the estate to the Estates Commissioners, I am very anxious that the negotiations should not be complicated by any utterances of mine.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
That would not in any way affect the question of the sale of the estate, which the owner has herself instituted, to the Estates Commissioners.