§ MR. M'CARTAN Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state the number of applications for the registration of the ownership of laud in Ireland made under Sections 22 and 23 of "The Local Registration of Title (Ire-laud) Act, 1891,"still remaining undisposed of: how many of those applications have been made upwards of a year ago; what number of these cases come under the provision for the compulsory registration of land sold under the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Acts; what is the usual time taken to register with respect to the transmission of registered land under the 37th section of the Act; whether he is aware of the great inconvenience to the owners which the unreasonable delay in the work of registration involves; and if he will explain the cause of the delay, and take some steps 593 to have it remedied and the applications disposed of as soon as possible?
MR. J. MORLEY
The number of applications under Sections 22 and 23 of the Act still remaining undisposed of is 8,200. The number of such applications which were lodged upwards of a year ago is 7,622. All these cases fall within the compulsory provisions of the Act. The Registrar of Titles informs me that if the documents are duly lodged, fees punctually paid, and no legal questions arise, the registration of transmission cases under the 37th section can be completed in a few days. I understand that, generally speaking, the delay in registration is largely attributable to applicants themselves, who fail to comply promptly with the requisitions issued to them by the Registrar of Titles. In this connection I may observe that out of 8,200 cases at present remaining undisposed of requisitions have been issued in 5,750 cases, and that in 970 of these cases only have replies been received, leaving some 4,780 cases in which the applicants for six, nine, or 12 months have made no response to the requisitions sent out.
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY (Cork)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these requisitions very commonly involve the applicants in very considerable expense?
§ MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)
I wish to ask whether this very heavy arrear of 7,000 cases is duo to the insufficiency of the staff or to the insufficiency of the annual provision made by the Treasury; and whether, considering that the tenant-purchaser cannot sell as tenant, whilst his title is unregistered, the right hon. Gentleman will urge the Treasury to make better arrangements?
MR. J. MORLEY
I have had it under consideration for some months, as perhaps my hon. Friend knows, whether the staff at the disposal of the Land Commission was sufficient. I understand, however, that the block in the registration of title cases would be cleared off within the next 12 months, even with the present staff, if the applicants would be a little more prompt and full in their responses to the requisitions.
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether or 594 not the Registering Authority can themselves undertake the expenses of the requisitions? These expenses are in the shape of stamps levied by the Registry of Deeds in Ireland, sometimes very heavy, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Registering Authority would themselves undertake the necessary securities?
MR. J. MORLEY
I am aware of the whole business. As my hon. and learned Friend knows, I inserted this in the original Reference to the Commission now sitting upstairs as one of the heads of inquiry, and I regret exceedingly that, owing to what the House is aware of, it was not possible to include that. As, however, it has been excluded, of course it will be my duty when I can get any leisure at all to proceed as if the Commission had themselves inquired into it. I recognise the importance of the matter fully, and I will do the best I can.
§ MR. SEXTON
Has the right lion. Gentleman noticed there are 2,000 cases in which no requisitions have been sent out, and can he say why they cannot be dealt with?