§ 23. Mr. FITZPATRICK
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that several small non-judicial tenants on the De Vesci estate, Queen's County, have received notice that their rents would be increased by 50 per cent. in some cases; and, as most of these tenants are uneconomic holders, many of whom have sons or relatives serving at the front, will he take steps to prevent such increase being made in the rents of these poor tenants?
§ 25. Mr. PATRICK MEEHAN
asked if he is aware that the agent of Viscount de Vesci has served notices on over seventy tenants on the Viscount's Queen's County estate demanding increased rents, in some cases the increase demanded being over 50 per cent.; if he is aware that the majority of these tenants hold small uneconomic bog holdings where their predecessors were planted in the famine days after being evicted from the good holdings on the estate; if he is aware that most of these tenants have sons or near relatives serving at the front; and whether he intends taking any action in the matter?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed that a circular demanding increased rents has been sent to the tenants by the agent of the De Vesci estate, and that this has been done with a view to having judicial rents fixed. Out of 120 tenants, 75 are said to have agreed to increased rents. About ten of the tenants have bog holdings; three of the tenants are known to have relations in the Army. The matter is not one in which, upon the facts before me, the Executive could interfere.
§ Mr. FITZPATRICK
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the effect of these notices has been to make several of these poor tenants pay increased rents?
§ Mr. KILBRIDE
May I ask whether the Executive in Dublin Castle, under the advice of the Attorney-General, are now contemplating the advisability of making Lord De Vesci and his agent chairman and vice-chairman of the Abbeyleix Recruiting Committee?
Would the Irish Government consider the advisability of putting the Defence of the Realm Act in force against Lord De Vesci?