§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state in how many cases of applications to fix fair rents in Ireland, and also in Ulster, respectively, have the applications of the tenants been refused by reason of the non-production of certificates of valuation for the "standard" year; whether he is aware that in many cases where two or more small holdings have been consolidated into one holding before or when judicial rents had been fixed for first term, that now no certificates of valuation for the standard year in respect of the smaller holdings are or were procurable, and by this rule of the Land Commission the tenants are thus prevented from getting fixed judicial rents for the second term, and the landlords can enforce payment of 497 the old rents even when they consent to the separation of the holdings; and whether he will inquire if the Land Commission can remedy the consequences of this rule, and make provision to enable the tenants to have judicial rents fixed thereon.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. G. W. BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
Applicants to have fair rents fixed are required by the Final Rules of the Land Commission, dated the 20th of July last, in respect of applications made after that date, to lodge therewith certificates showing the tenement valuation of the holding for the standard financial year. Certificates in such cases can be obtained from the Secretary to the County Council for the sum of sixpence. In no cases coming under these rules have applications to fix fair rents been refused for the reason stated in the question. With regard to applications pending at the date of the rules, the Land Commissioners made arrangements, when the Local Government Act came into operation, themselves to obtain particulars of such tenement valuations from the General Valuation Office; but in some few of these cases, it was found that there is no separate valuation, and in such cases, having regard to the provisions of Section 55 of the Local Government Act, a fair rent cannot be fixed until the valuation has been revised in accordance with the Valuation Acts. In such cases the Land Commission have notified the parties and the Commissioner of Valuation of the necessity for revision, and the applications to have fair rents fixed have been adjourned, not refused. The number of cases so adjourned is comparatively small. Any delay which has occurred in disposing of the cases does not arise from any Rule of the Land Commission, but from the fact that the Commissioners are required by the Local Government Act to give effect to the considerations mentioned in the 55th Section when fixing a fair rent.