§ MR. PIM
said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, If he has considered whether it would not be right, with a view of encouraging the leasing of Land in Ireland, to reduce the Stamp Duty on all Leases under the Irish Land Bill to a uniform sum, say 1s., and further to take means under the Act to lessen the cost of Leases in other respects?
Sir, as regards the first part of this Question, I have to state that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is considering the subject of the stamp laws in Ireland; and, in particular, that we shall endeavour to see whether we cannot effect a better adjustment between the duties payable on leases and those payable on other descriptions of tenancy. It is unquestionably desirable that people should not be put to a disadvantage in this respect if they take leases; but I 203 cannot say I think it will be possible for us to reduce this duty in any case to so low a figure as is indicated by my hon. Friend, for the duties on leases bear upon other matters involving important branches of revenue, such, for instance, as transfers of property. I shall shortly be able to announce whether we can do anything in reference to this subject. With regard to the latter part of the Question, I may say that we are considering whether we can do something towards reducing the cost of leases and simplifying the process of preparing them, by suggesting a form of lease in the Bill. I cannot, however, give a positive answer on this point at present.