§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the landlord and tenants of the 480 Verschoyle estate, Dunkineely, County Donegal, a majority of whose tenants have holdings totalling over £5 valuation, agreed on a price for the sale of this estate, that agreements were lodged but that the Estates Commissioners refused to sanction the sale on the ground that the estate was congested, but having regard to the protest of the tenants against this decision, sent down an inspector, who, after examination, reported that the estate was not congested, but that, this Report notwithstanding, the Commissioners again refused to sanction the sale; and whether, having regard to the disappointment of both parties to the contemplated sale and the desirability of an immediate settlement, steps will be taken to secure that the agreement which both parties desire to be carried out may be completed.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners inform me that purchase agreements were entered into between the owner of this property and his tenants with a view to a direct sale under the Irish Land Act, 1903. The Commissioners, however, refused to declare the lands in their present condition to be an estate, the property appearing to be congested within, the meaning of Section 6 of the Act. The statement that the inspector reported that the property was not congested is not correct. The Commissioners cannot see their way to depart from their decision.