§ 89. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he is now in a position to state, as a result of the special inspection of the estate of Lady Chapman, of Killua Castle, Westmeath, the total area outside of the demesne; the number of economic holdings on ordinary tenure with the right to till and build; the number and aggregate area of grass holdings with no right of occupant to till or build; the number of uneconomic holdings on the estate, including the rural village of Clonmellon; the number of holdings on the estate rated but derelict from excessive rent or want of employment; the number of recipients of outdoor relief from whom Lady Chapman takes rent; whether all the lands on the estate restricted to grass will be distributed for relief of the congestion on the estate; and the probable date of the distribution?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The estate referred to, exclusive of the demesne, comprises 3,900 acres, of which 600 are untenanted. The agricultural holdings number 124, of which seventeen appear to be held under yearly tenancies restricted to pasture. The village of Clonmellon includes some seventy non-agricultural holdings of less than half an acre, and fifty-four of the agricultural holdings on the estate appear 1117 to have a rateable value of less than £7. The Estates Commissioners are not aware of any derelict agricultural holdings on the estate, but they understand there are a few vacant houses in Clonmellon. The Commissioners are not aware how many (if any) of the tenants are in receipt of outdoor relief, nor are they in a position to say whether any of the lands held by the yearly tenants restricted to pasture will be available for distribution. Lands so held are not excluded from the provisions of the Land Purchase Acts, and, as in the case of other tenanted land, can be purchased by the tenants.
§ 90. Mr. GINNELL
asked what the area of Lady Chapman's demesne at Killua is; whether she is withholding from the sale any land outside the demesne; if so, how much; and on what grounds, having regard to the congested condition of the estate?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The demesne, which the Estates Commissioners understand comprises some 500 acres, is not included in the lands for the sale of which proceedings have been instituted before them. The reply to the remainder of the question is in the negative.
§ 91. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary whether all the grass holdings on Lady Chapman's estate are non residential; and under what section it is proposed to sell to non-resident occupants having their homes elsewhere holdings on a congested estate on which they are precluded from building and from tilling?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners understand that the tenants of the holdings on this estate who hold under yearly tenancies, but restricted to pasture, reside on the estate or on neighbouring estates, and that they are in legal occupation for the purposes of advances under the Land Purchase Acts.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer that part of the question—asking under what legal enactment the holdings of the character indicated are sold on a congested estate?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Although holdings of this kind are not within the Fair Kent Clauses, they have been held to be tenancies within the meaning of the Land Purchase Acts, and those concerned therefore are eligible to buy the holdings.