§ MR. KNOX
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to pages 8 and 9 of the Report of the Irish Land Commissioners, from which it appears that out of 27,000 titles awaiting registration under "The Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, 189.1," only 500 have been registered, and that a considerable time must elapse before the Registrar of Titles is able to deal with the arrears; whether he is aware that before registration no one of the 26,500 owners can give a complete title to a purchaser; and whether, having regard to the serious public inconvenience, he will consult with the Treasury with a view to furnishing additional temporary assistance to the Registrar until the arrears are dealt with?
MR. J. MORLEY
It is a fact that the business of this Department is considerably in arrear, but it must be remembered that the Act has only been in operation since the 1st January, 1892, and that some delay was necessarily incurred in putting the Department into working order. The Registrar of Titles reports that as many persons are employed in the process of registration as the very inadequate space at his disposal will admit of, but that arrangements are in progress for additional office accommodation, when it will be possible to proceed with greater expedition. The registration of lands dealt with by the Land Commissioners since 1st January, 1892, was not commenced, I am informed, 1473 until the end of January last; since then 3,793 cases have been registered. Of these 170 were cases prior to 1892; 812 were cases of the year 1892, and the balance represents current cases. The hon. Member is not quite correct in his reference in the first paragraph; what the Report states is that in only 550 of the 3,000 cases which accumulated during 1892 had titles been registered at the time the Report was made—namely, 31st May last. The answer to the second paragraph of the question is in the affirmative.