HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1693-4
MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state the average number of years purchase paid in each county of Munster under the Ashbourne and Balfour Acts, and the average number of years purchase paid under the Land Purchase Act, 1903; and whether Ashbourne purchasers who accepted an extension of time of repayment became entitled to decadal reductions of 10 per cent. or more at the end of the first ten years, another 10 per cent. or more at the end of twenty years, and a further reduction of more than 10 per cent. at the end of thirty years, thus making their average annual payment the same as if their annuity had been originally calculated at the rate of 3¼ per cent.


The particulars of the average number of years purchase paid in each county in Munster under the various Land Purchase Acts have appeared from year to year in the Annual Reports of the Land Commission and of the Estates Commissioners, to which I would refer the hon. Member. A purchaser under the Land Purchase (Ireland) Act, 1885, who accepted decadal revisions, and whose annuity in each decade was punctually and fully paid up, is liable to pay for each £100 advanced during the first decade, £4; during the second, £3 11s. 10d.; during the third, £3 4s. 6d.; and thereafter for forty-nine years, £2 17s. 11d. per annum. A purchaser under the Irish Land Act, 1903, is liable to pay £3 5s. for each £100 advanced throughout a period calculated to be sixty-eight and a half years. The systems are entirely different, and the average annuities can hardly be compared.


Is it not the fact that this decadal reduction was strongly recommended by the Land Conference, and strongly objected to in influential quarters in Ireland owing to the fact that it added 25 per cent. to the tenants' payment, and is it not also the case that at the old purchase rate it would take at least seventy years to make as many peasant proprietors as has been made in the last five years under the present Act?


I must have notice of a Question of that character.


Was not the deduction 10 per cent. for three periods of ten years under the Act of 1896, whereas the tenants now get a further reduction of 15 per cent.?


One can hardly thus discuss the respective merits of different schemes.