§ MR. LEA (Londonderry, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if the tenants of the Belville Estate, County Antrim, purchased their holdings from Lady Harberton at 17½ years' purchase in 1887, and that all applications were lodged with the Land Purchase Commissioners in 1889, and ruled as satisfactory both as to security and title, and yet the matter has not been completed; what is the cause of this delay; and when will the purchase date from?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
The Land Commissioners report that the agreements for sales on the Estate referred to were lodged at dates ranging from October, 1889, to October, 1890. The advances were provisionally sanctioned at dates ranging from June, 1890, to April, 1891. Rulings on title were issued on 18th April, 1891. The Commissioners added that the cause of delay is that the solicitors for the vendor have not yet complied with the rulings of title or proceeded under the provision of Section 14 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887. No advance can be made until one or other of these courses has been taken.
§ MR. MCCARTAN (Down, S.)
Seeing the delay is not due to any default of the tenant, cannot the right hon. Gentleman suggest to the Land Commissioners to bring some pressure to bear?
§ MR. PINKERTON (Galway)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only two cases remain undecided under that decision, and yet that the bulk of 700 the tenants are prevented from purchasing, owing to the informality of these particular cases?
§ MR. JACKSON
I am afraid I do not understand the point. As regards the delay, I have stated that it was on the part of the vendor's solicitors. I am not aware that we have any power to accelerate proceedings. I will suggest that one of two courses might be adopted—either by Section 14 of the Land Law Act, 1887, or by complying with the rulings of title.
§ MR. MCCARTAN
Do I understand that if the landlord does not wish to carry out the sale, there are no means by which the Land Commissioners can make him do so?
§ MR. PINKERTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the tenants solicitor has been writing daily in order to get the sale effected, but that frivolous objections have been put forward by the Land Purchase Commissioners?
§ MR. JACKSON
I did not say any delay had been caused by the tenants' solicitor; I said the vendor's solicitor.