§ Mr. SHEEHAN (Cork County, Mid.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that negotiations have been in progress for the purchase of that portion of the estate of M. F. Barry (in lunacy), situate at Cooldorihy, county Cork; that the tenants offered to buy on terms which would give them a reduction of 7s. 6d. and 5s. 6d. on first and second-term rents, respectively, but that the Registrar in Lunacy would not concede more than 7s. and 5s., alleging that it would be distinctly for the benefit of the tenants 895 to purchase at those prices; whether he is aware that the offer of the tenants is actually in excess of the prices prevailing in that part of the country, and that two neighbouring estates have been recently sold on similar terms to those offered by them; and, seeing that the Registrar in Lunacy has ordered that the rents shall now be collected in the ordinary course, and that the tenants, threaten to resist collection on the grounds that they are being unfairly dealt with, will he recommend, in the interests of the peace and good order of the locality, that this is a case in which the Estates Commissioners may usefully intervene to effect a reasonable settlement, and thus avert friction and trouble in the future.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Registrar in Lunacy informs me that by order of 16th October, 1906, the Lord Chancellor sanctioned a sale to the tenants on the estate in question at 20 and 23 years purchase of first and second-term rents respectively. All the tenants have signed agreements to purchase save five at Cool-dorihy, and there is, in the Lord Chancellor's opinion, nothing in the circumstances of these latter tenants to entitle them to exceptional terms. It would be inconsistent with the provisions of the Lunacy Act governing the sale of a lunatic's estate to refer the matter of fixing a price to the Estates Commissioners.