52 and 55. Colonel NEWMAN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he can give the total sum in arrear and the number of individuals who have failed 1870 to meet their obligation with regard to the annuities payable to the British Exchequer in respect of moneys advanced for the purchase of farms by their holders under the various Irish Land Purchase Acts; what method the British Exchequer adopts to recover annuities due by citizens of the Irish Free State who fail to make payment;
(2) whether he can give the total sum in arrear and the number of individuals who have failed, during the past financial year or other convenient period, to meet their obligation with regard to the annuities payable to the British Exchequer in respect of moneys advanced for the purchase of their farms under various Land Purchase Acts; and will he say what method he intends to adopt to recover annuities due by citizens of the Irish Free State should they make default?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER
The total arrears due to the Irish Land Commission at the 21st March, 1923, in respect of land purchase annuities payable by tenant purchasers in the Irish Free State was £502,920, but it is not at the moment possible to state the number of persons who contribute to this arrear. The deficiencies caused by these particular arrears, in the case of all advances made under the Land Purchase Act of 1891 and subsequent Acts, have already been made good from the Irish Land Purchase Guarantee Fund created for this purpose under the Land Purchase Act of 1891. As from the 1st April, 1923, the Free State Government have undertaken to pay to the appropriate British fund the full amount of the annuities accruing due from time to time, making themselves responsible for the actual collection from the tenant purchaser. The British Exchequer will, therefore, not be affected by any failure on the part of a citizen of the Free State to make the payment due on account of his annuity.
§ Sir JOHN BUTCHER
Have we any guarantee or any method of assuring that the Free State make these payments to the British Exchequer?