§ 30. Mr. FARRELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Fetherstone estate, at Ardagh, county Longford, has yet reached the stage for dealing with; whether he is aware that the tenants have now been paying interest in lieu of rent for over nine years; and whether anything can be done to speed up the sale, of which so far the tenants have had little benefit?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Proceedings have been instituted for the sale of this estate under the Irish Land Act, 1903, by the owner direct to the tenants, and purchase agreements at prices agreed upon between the parties were lodged with the Estates Commissioners on 21st May, 1908, and subsequent dates. The purchase agreements provide that, pending the advancing of the purchase money and the vesting of the holdings, the tenants are to pay interest at 3½ per cent. on the agreed purchase moneys, which gives them a reduction 602 in the rents they would otherwise have to pay. The estate has not yet been reached in its order of priority on the principal register of direct sales under the Irish Land Act, 1903, to be dealt with by the Commissioners, but when reached it will be dealt with as rapidly as practicable.
§ Mr. FARRELL
Can the Commissioners do anything to speed up the sale, as this thing has been hanging on for years?