§ MR. COWLEY LAMBERT (Islington, E.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he will consider the advisability of bringing in a Bill for the purpose of making some equitable concessions to landlords in Ireland when paying succession accounts, taking into consideration the enormous reductions in rents that have been made by recent Acts of Parliament?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I must remind the hon. Member that the privilege of paying Succession Duty by instalments is in itself a concession. The duty is due when the property changes hands, just as much as Probate Duty, and is accordingly calculated on the value of the property at that moment. Whether the value may rise or fall in subsequent years is immaterial, and of itself constitutes no stronger claim to relief than there would be in the case of a man who found the stocks or shares on which he had paid Probate Duty falling in value. The hon. Member's Question refers only to Irish landlords; but I need not say that "enormous reductions of rent" have taken place in other parts of the United Kingdom, and that it would be impossible to make a concession to some landlords and not to all in 1395 the same position. I cannot undertake to bring in such a Bill as the hon. Member desires; but I can assure him that all cases of real hardship, where there is difficulty in paying the duty, will be treated as leniently as possible.