§ Mr. J. P. FARRELL
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he was aware that the solicitors for the sale of the estate of Colonel A. H. Lefroy, at Cranleymore, county Longford, whose tenants signed their purchase agreements in October, 1909, have informed the tenants' solicitors that the Estates Commissioners have 821W returned the agreements and refused to accept them unless lodged under the Act of 1909; and whether, in view of his pledge to the House of Commons during the passing of the Land Bill of last year that pending agreements would be received and dealt with under the Act of 1903, and of the fact that the negotiations were conducted on the basis of the terms fixed under the Act of 1903, and that failure to carry out that agreement will mean loss and delay to the parties concerned, he will now direct that these agreements which were completed before the passage of the Act of 1909 will be received and dealt with under the Act of 1903 in accordance with the terms of agreement between landlord and tenants for the sale?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
It is the fact that the purchase agreements referred to have been returned to the parties by the Estates Commissioners. Under Section 13 of the Act of last year "pending purchase agreements" are defined as agreements lodged with the Land Commission on or before 15th September, 1909. I have no power to give the direction suggested in the latter part of the question. Such a course would be entirely contrary to the Act.