I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if the evicted tenants proposed to be reinstated on farms under the Evicted Tenants (Ireland) Bill are approximately of the average age of sixty-five years; and, if so, if he will consider the advisability of arranging that such tenants shall be pensioned off at a cost of less than half the £2,000,000, the estimated cost of their reinstatement.
I have already informed the hon. Member that I have no information which would enable an estimate to be made of the average age of the evicted tenants whom it is proposed to restore. I would, however, add that many of the applicants are the sons or other representatives of deceased evicted tenants. The Answer to the latter part of the Question is in the negative. As regards the suggestion that the reinstatement of evicted tenants will cost £2,000,000, I would remind the hon. Member that the amounts to be advanced to enable reinstated tenants to purchase holdings will be repayable in the form of annuities.