§ MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the sales made in virtue of the Ashbourne Acts were based upon the agricultural value of the holdings and did not include any sum in respect of the metals and minerals which might be in the lands sold; whether, under the Purchase of Land and Congested Districts (Ireland) Bill, the price of the holdings is also intended to be based on the agricultural value alone; and whether, considering the value to be received by the purchasers in respect of the Imperial credit and of the local guarantee, the Government will take such steps as will insure that the metals and minerals should either be the property of the nation or belong to the Local Authorities for local taxation purposes?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am not aware of any case in which a holding known to contain metals or minerals of an appreciable value was sold under the Ashbourne Acts. The sales made under these Acts were therefore naturally based upon the agricultural value. A like basis of value would regulate sales under the legislation proposed by the present Bill.