The interest of the news from Ireland still centres in
the Land Courts. Some 47,000 cases have been introduced, and the landlords are beginning to make compromises outside. Tb ey have reason. Many large estates in Ireland are underlet, or let at fair rents ; but it begins to be clear that a great number of small owners have availed themselves of the circumstances of the country to exact rents which cannot have been paid out of the soil. Their tenants are worse off even than Parlia- ment suspected. The Court of Ballina, for example, deciding upon the claims brought against Miss F. Knox, on her property in Connaught, reduced the rent, in some instances by 50 and in many by 40 per cent. So extraordinary was the state of affairs revealed, that the Chairman thought it necessary to point out that, large as were the redactions made by the Court, the judicial rent fixed was still in excess of the Poor-law valuation, and, moreover, was more than the reduced rent recently voluntarily agreed to by the same landlord on other properties and sanctioned by the Court. It will be asked in England. how rents so enormous were ever paid, and we believe 'the answer to be this, that the agents benefited by high nominal rents. If they were paid, that was to their credit, not to speak of per-centages ; and if they were not paid, that was the fault of the tenants, or of the " hard times." It was time such a system should end.