§ Mr. O'SHEE
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether some owners or vendors of land who have been communicated with by the Estates Commissioners under the Land Act of 1903, with reference to land which was held by former tenants, as defined by the Act, allege that since the former tenants were evicted the land has become demesne or has acquired the character of a home farm; and, if so, whether the Estates Commissioners have allowed such a plea or have tested or are about to test its validity?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners have no power to purchase lands under the Irish Land Act, 1903, unless the owner offers them for sale. It is, therefore, assumed that the hon. Member refers to lands proposed to be acquired compulsorily under the Evicted Tenants Act, 1907. In any case where an owner of evicted lands proposed to be acquired compulsorily under the Evicted Tenants Act alleges that they have been incorporated with his demesne, or have acquired the character of a "home farm," and under section 7 of the Act cannot be acquired, the matter is inquired into and decided in accordance with the provisions of the Act.