§ Mr. PATRICK MEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary if he would state what progress had been made towards the purchase by the Estates Commissioners of the M'Mahon estate, Queen's County; whether he is aware that the owner is anxious to sell, and offered his estate to the Commissioners in January, 1910; whether he is aware that this is in the immediate vicinity of a congested district consisting of ninety-one holdings of cutaway bog and mountain slope, the valuation of which is from 15s. to £7, occupied by about 500 persons; and, seeing that the only means of relieving this congestion is by the purchase of and distribution of the McMahon estate, whether the purchase of the McMahon estate will be expedited?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners had a preliminary inspection made of the lands referred to and estimated the amount which they would be prepared to advance if the lands were offered for sale to them as untenanted land. The Commissioners' estimate has not been accepted and the matter is at present under their consideration.
§ Mr. JOHN PHILLIPS
asked the Chief Secretary what are the circumstances or conditions that the Estates Commissioners are imposing on John McGiff, a tenant on the estate of Thomas C. Fagan, Rathmore, Ballymahon, county Longford (Ref. No. C. 8,541), holding about four statute acres at a rent of £8 per annum; have they inspected this holding; do they consider it value for annuities calculated at what 1519W may be safely considered a rack rent; and will the Commissioners fix a fair rent on this farm, or allow the tenant to enter the Land Court to have a second term rent fixed?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
This estate was sold direct by the landlord to the tenants under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and the advances were made and the holdings vested in the purchasing tenants in February last. No agreement for the purchase of the holding held by John McGiff as a judicial tenant on the estate has been lodged with the Estates Commissioners. It is open to McGiff to apply to have a second term fair rent fixed if he is entitled to do so. This is not a matter in which the Commissioners can interfere.
§ Mr. JOHN ROCHE
asked the Chief Secretary whether purchasing tenants under the Act of 1903 are liable to pay tithe rent-charge; and whether the Irish Land Commission is bound to have all such charges and liabilities discharged and to see that the holding is free from all claims except annuity before the vesting order is made out?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Land Commission inform me that where tithe rent charge is payable by a vendor out of lands which are being sold by him to the tenants under the Land Purchase Acts such tithe rent charge is redeemed out of the purchase money of the lands, being a "superior interest" affecting the vendor's estate for sale. If, however, the purchasing tenant by reason of his interest in the lands which formed his holding was liable to pay a tithe rent charge, that charge is not redeemable out of the purchase money of the holding sold by the vendor, but continues to be payable by the tenant as previously.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
asked how many estates have been purchased by the Estates Commissioners for the Congested Districts Board since 1903 in the parishes of Kilconly and Kilbannon, county Galway; how many estates have been offered for sale in these parishes under the Acts of 1903 and 1909; did the Congested Districts Board approach any landlords in these parishes with a view to purchase, if so, what landlords, and with what result; if the estates of Dr. Day and Mr. George Crean Lynch have been offered to the Congested Districts Board or the Estates Commissioners; if so, on what date; whether a petition was received from the tenants of Mr. Thomas F. Lewin by the Congested 1520W Districts Board within the past few weeks; and, if so, what steps do the Board intend to take with reference to it?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The records of the Estates Commissioners and the Congested Districts Board are not kept by parishes. The estates of Dr. Day and Mr. George Lynch have been offered to the Congested Districts Board, and an inspection of the lands will be made as soon as practicable. A petition in respect of the estate of Mr. Thomas F. Lewin was received and the owner communicated with, but so far no definite answer has been received as to whether he is prepared to sell his estate to the Board.