§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Irish Land Commission in November, 1901, advanced to the Rev. W. J. Elliott, rector of Ballyvaughan, a portion of the price of a holding on the Skerrett estate, at Newquay, County Clare, thereby enabling him to purchase same under 40th Section of Land Act; that Mr. Elliott acquired the tenant's interest by purchase some months previously by public auction; and that although there were three sub-tenants occupying the entire holding in three different parcels, and who are still in occupation, Mr. Elliott, or some person acting on his behalf, swore an affidavit that he was in actual occupation of this holding, and that there were no sub-tenants on it; will he say what steps, if any, the 1106 Land Commission took to ascertain its accuracy; and what steps were taken to acquaint the sub-tenants that the head tenant was trying to purchase their several holdings; and whether, seeing that during the negotiations Mr. Elliott induced two of the three sub-tenants to sign agreements to be monthly and conacre tenants respectively, which were subsequently set aside at Ennis Quarter Sessions in June, 1902, and that Mr. Elliott has commenced ejectment proceedings against one of these sub-tenants, and proceedings against another for recovery of rent in excess of the amount due, will he say what steps the Land Commission intend taking to carry out the requirements of the Act of Parliament as regards occupation and sub-letting.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) Before any advance to Mr. Elliott was sanctioned, he had acquired, by purchase, the interest of the tenant of this holding, and had also obtained from the sub-tenants of portions of the holding the surrender of their interests. The interest of the tenant became thus absolutely vested in him and he was in actual occupation. On this state of facts the advance was properly made. Litigation has since taken place between Mr. Elliott and two of the sub-tenants in respect to the real nature of the surrender, but the suit is still pending.