§ MR. GIBSON
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If he would state what is the cause of the delay in making payments to landowners under the Arrears Act, when the tenants have lodged the year's rent, and there is no dispute as to the facts?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, I have received a Report from the Land Commissioners, of which the following is the substance:—An erroneous impression is conveyed by describing the procedure with reference to joint applications as merely one of "making payments," and by stating that in any application the facts are undisputed. The duty of in- 1412 vestigating every case is imposed upon the Commissioners by the Act, and they consider that it would be impossible to simplify or curtail their present procedure. Every application must be registered, examined by an investigator in the Commissioners' Office, and inspected by the Treasury Representative in Dublin. If the result is satisfactory, and no local inquiry is considered necessary, an order for payment is paid out as soon as possible, and its substance communicated both to landlord and tenant. But before this can be done a large amount of clerical labour is unavoidable, and this involves some delay. After the notification of the order to the landlord there is not an interval of more than three days in making actual payment, provided that no question of title is involved. I have to-day received the following telegram on this subject from the Land Commissioners:—It is confidently anticipated that, by the end of May, landlords, in 100,000 out of the 135,000 cases lodged, will have been paid.Rent lodged with the Commissioners by a tenant to his landlord's credit is paid by the Commissioners when applied for. There is no delay as regards money so lodged, except the delay of one fortnight caused in giving public notice by advertisement pursuant to Section 1, Sub-section 5, of the Arrears Act.