§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Estates Commissioners advanced to Captain Robert Leslie, of Tarbert, county Kerry, 26¼ years' purchase for the agricultural holdings on his property; was there an inspection of this estate; who was the inspector, and when was the inspection carried out; did the tenants get any intimation that an inspection was to be made; can he explain the circumstances under which the landlord was permitted to buy up 240 acres in six separate lots outside his demesne and in three different townlands; is he aware that there are forty-five landless families living on this property for whom no provision was made to distribute even a small portion of the grass lands among them; that the Estates Commissioners already have to employ the aid of the sheriff and his bailiffs to seize the goods and cattle of some of the tenants on this property, as the annuity is so large that the tenants are not able to meet it; and why was this landlord treated so much better in the matter of price than any other landlord in Kerry?
§ Mr. BIRRELL:
The Estates Commissioners inform me that the tenants on this estate agreed to purchase their holdings direct from the owner under the Irish Land Act, 1903. The average number of years' purchase was 24.7 in the case of second term judicial rents, 22.2 in the case of first term judicial rents, and 22 in the case of non-judicial rents. The holdings 1135W were visited by a surveyor in October, 1908, and in December following such of the holdings as were liable to inspection for the purposes of security were visited by an inspector, who gave due notice of his inspection. The owner repurchased under Section 3 of the Act 382 acres, in connection with which he gave a considerable amount of employment locally, and which the Commissioners did not consider necessary for enlargement of holdings. In the case of only four tenant purchasers out of sixty-eight on the estate have the annuities been recovered by the sheriff. As already stated, this was a direct sale agreed on between the owner and his tenants, and the Commissioners are not aware that he was exceptionally treated.