§ Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state at what date purchase agreements were lodged on behalf of tenants on the Nicholson estate, Balrath, Bury, Kells, county Meath; whether it was simultaneously or subsequently communicated to the Commissioners that the vendor was willing to sell some of his untenanted land to enlarge their holdings; what has been the cause of the delay in carrying out the arrangement between the vendor and purchasing tenant; if at any time the vendor sought to retreat from his part of the agreement or whether the delay resulted from the Commissioners seeking to acquire more land than was sufficient to meet the requirements of the occupants of the estate; and, if so, having regard to the hardship inflicted on the tenants on the estate by delaying their vesting orders and not increasing their holdings, the Commissioners will deal with their agreements as originally presented without further delay?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The estate referred to is the subject of a sale by the owner direct to the tenants under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and purchase agreements at prices agreed upon between the parties were lodged with the Estates Commissioners in April, 1909. In 1910 the Commissioners received a communication on behalf of the tenants alleging that one of the conditions of the sale was that the vendor should provide additional lands for the tenants of certain holdings. No such condition appears in the purchase agreements signed by the parties, and the vendor's solicitors on being furnished with a copy of the communication in question replied that no such agreement was made by him; that what the vendor did state was that, if after inspection of the estate, the Commissioners considered that certain holdings should be enlarged, he would be willing to give untenanted land to provide such enlargements if an arrangement as to price is arrived at. The Commissioners have requested the vendor to sell to them 1637W certain untenanted land in his occupation for the purpose of enlarging holdings on this and on neighbouring estates. The vendor is not prepared to sell all these lands, and the Commissioners have intimated to him that as he is not willing to sell them the land which they consider necessary for the purpose of improving the estate, they are not prepared to declare this property an "estate" for the purposes of the Irish Land Acts. On the vendor's application, the case will be listed for hearing before the Commissioners at an early date. There has been no delay on the part of the Commissioners in dealing with this property, but the negotiations regarding the sale of the untenanted land have been protracted.
§ Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked whether any purchasing tenants, on whose behalf purchase agreements were lodged at the same time, or since the agreements were lodged, on the Nicholson estate, county Meath, have had their lands vested in them; and, if so, on how many estates?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Much labour would be involved in obtaining the information asked for in the second part and no useful deduction could be drawn from it as the date of vesting depends on many other things than the date of lodging purchase agreements, including the declaration by the Estates Commissioners as an "estate" of the lands proposed to be sold; whether the sale is under the Act of 1903 or 1909, and if under the Act of 1903 whether it is on the register of all cash sales or on the registers of sales to be paid either wholly or partly in stock.