HC Deb 15 March 1916 vol 80 cc2095-6W

asked the Attorney-General for Ireland if he will inform the House why the eviction of agricultural tenants for inability to pay rents which their lands have not yielded in excess of subsistence, owing to the male members of their families being engaged in the War, is not prevented under the Defence of the Realm Act; how many such tenants in county Leitrim Mr. George Hewson now holds under process or threat of eviction; and whether he will be allowed to carry out all or any of those evictions while the War is in progress?


The Defence of the Realm Act has no application to the matters mentioned in the hon. Member's question. I am informed that at the March and April Sessions in 1915 Mr. George Hewson obtained eighty-two ejectment decrees against tenants for non-payment of rents for periods varying from one to seven years. None of these decrees have been executed. Other tenants have been notified that if rents due by them are not paid proceedings will be instituted. Amongst all these tenants only one has joined the Army since the commencement of the War, and the son of one other tenant is in the Army. The non-payment of these rents is, therefore, not due to the male members of the tenants' families being engaged in the War, and I am informed that most of the tenants are well able to pay their rents if they were willing to do so.