§ MR. GIBSON
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is a fact that the Irish Land Commission on all sales of land effected through them require the redemption of all quit and Crown rents, and all tithe rent-charges payable out of same; what rate do the Government now require for the purchase or redemption of such rents and rent-charges; and, whether, having regard to the great fall in the price of Irish land, and the present condition and circumstances of Ireland, he will direct that in future there be a substantial reduction of such rates?
§ MR. COURTNEY
I believe the Land Commission require commutation of these charges on land which passes through their hands. This course has the advantage of giving the purchaser a title free from all encumbrances, and also of enabling him to obtain a larger advance from the Land Commission than would be possible if they remained outstanding. Quit rent and Crown rent are sold at 28 or 30 years' purchase, according as the amount in one proposal exceeds, or does not exceed, £1 a-year, these rates having been fixed in 1854. These charges take precedence, both of the landlord's and of the tenant's interest in the land; and as there is no evidence of a decrease in the total value of these two interests since 1854, there seems no reason for altering the terms of commutation. The quit and Crown rents are a very secure form of revenue, being easy and inexpensive to collect, and the arrears upon them are small. As regards tithe rent charges, the price of commutation is fixed by statute at 22½ years' purchase.