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Real And Personal Estate (Next-Of-Kin)

Volume 65: debated on Thursday 30 July 1914

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62.

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the official statement that the property of the late Mrs. Blake, née Ellen Sheridan, has not accumulated means that it has been appropriated by the State to the exclusion of the next-of-kin or only that no account of its present value has been made out; whether he will produce a statement of the property, real and personal, showing all the payments made out of it since her death; the date at which the personal estate was found to be £96,778 4s. 11d. and the real estate £48,000; what that personal estate would amount to now at the average current rate of accumulation; and what, approximately, the real estate is estimated to be worth now?

All the information that can properly be given to the hon. Member was supplied to him by answer and correspondence two years ago. I can, if he wishes it, give him all the relevant references, but I see no useful purpose in repeating the information, or any reason to reverse the decision arrived at then.

63.

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the High Court in London, when prescribing newspapers for insertion of advertisements for the next-of-kin of the late Mrs. Blake, née Ellen Sheridan, who are all Irish peasants, had not the assistance of any counsel on behalf of those peasants, and consequently prescribed newspapers which those peasants have never seen, that the firm of solicitors named by him had no interest in finding the next-of-kin in Ireland, and that professional next-of-kin agents are unfit persons to entrust with such a matter; seeing that no advertisement has yet been inserted in any newspaper circulating among Ellen Sheridan's kindred, and that unless this is done while the older of them are living their property must lapse to the State, whether the State, now free from Court control in this matter, will, by publishing in papers circulating amongst the next-of-kin an advertisement of all available identifying information, enable them to prove their kinship and recover their property; and, if not, will he say what law, order, or principle prevents the adoption of this course?

The hon. Member assumes that there is evidence as to the circumstances and whereabouts of the next-of-kin; this is not the case, and consequently the questions asked do not properly arise.