§ MR. J. DILLON (Mayo, E)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, in view of the fact that on the 19th August 1895 a memorandum was issued, signed by himself on behalf of the Lords of the Treasury, giving the grounds on which the Treasury considered it unjust and inadmissible to accede to the rate of redemption of Irish tithe rent-charge being reduced to 20 years' purchase, whether he can state what has occurred since last August to induce the Treasury to decide differently?
§ MR. HANBURY
The memorandum referred to in the Question was issued by the late Board of Treasury, and presented to the House of Lords signed by my predecessor in June 1895. When it was subsequently desired that a duplicate of the memorandum should be laid on the Table of this House, I, of course, signed it as a formal return. The Treasury have not, as the Question implies, agreed to a general reduction of the rate of tithe redemption to 20 years' purchase. They have merely authorised the Land Commission to exercise the discretion vested in themselves by Section 15 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887, down to a limit of 20 years and subject to their supervision. What has occurred to induce the Board of Treasury to modify its decision occurred, not since last August, as stated in the Question, but since last June—a complete change of its personnel.