§ (1.) The Land Commission shall prepare the vesting order, or, if they see fit to dispense therewith, shall fiat the agreement for the purchase of the holding, subject to such conditions, exceptions, and modifications as they they think necessary; and, on the advance being paid into the High Court, such fiat shall have effect as if it were a, vesting order made by the Commission in relation to the holding purchased, and the provisions of this Act referring to vesting orders shall apply and be construed accordingly.
§ (2.) The Land Commission shall, immediately after the vesting order or fiat, prepare and transmit to the registering authority under the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, 1891, the prescribed particulars as to the holding, in order that the title of the purchaser to the ownership of the fee simple of the holding may he registered pursuant to that Act, and on such registration the registering authority shall transmit the land certificate to the Land Commission, to he held by them until the advance has been repaid.
§ (3.) Section thirty-four of the said Act (which relates to the correction and rectification of the register) shall extend to a vesting order or fiat as if it were the register.
§ (4.) An agreement for purchase, a vesting order, or fiat, shall not operate to convert the interest of the purchaser into real estate.392
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY moved to leave out all the words after the words "registered pursuant to that Act" in sub-section (2). It was sought to introduce the words of the Amendment into the Bill to make it read in connection with the Registration of Title (Ireland) Act. This was an excellent Act, but it had been destroyed by the way it had been administered in Ireland. It was said that "God sends meat and the Devil sends cooks." The House might pass good legislation, but it was spoiled by the way it was administered. The object of the Registration of Title Act was to save law costs, but the moment the Act was passed the registration authorities in Ireland instead of trying to make it workable conceived it to be their duty to place every conceivable obstacle in its war. The first act of the Irish Land Commission was to make a rule absolutely nullifying the whole Act. Under the Registration of Title Act a man's title was proved by the production of his land certificate instead of a sheaf of title deeds, but the Land Commission impounded this certificate, so that if a tenant purchaser wanted an advance from a bank he had to give the bank a legal mortgage. He could not conceive what could be the object of the Land Commission. It could not be prejudiced by the tenant having possession of the land certificate. The Government proposed to give legal sanction to this extraordinary proceeding, and provide by express legal enactment that the certificate should be held until the advance was paid off. If the Committee accepted the proposal of the Bill they might as well repeal the Registration of Title Act at once, because the effect of this Bill was that until the Land Commission advance was paid off the Registration of Title Act would not affect any tenant purchaser.
§ MR. KNOX
trusted the Chief Secretary would accept the Amendment. The Registration of Title Act was an excellent Act, carefully drawn by Mr. Justice Madden when Attorney General. But it had been killed by the absurd rule made by the Land Commission; secondly, by the gross inattention to their duty of the Land Commission in performing the statutory duty of seeing that the tenants who had already bought 393 their land should have their titles registered free of charge; thirdly, by the way the Land Commission were treated by the Treasury; and fourthly, the inattention of the clerks of the Crown. If the Registration of Title Act was not to be properly carried out, let it be repealed at once. If the Laud Commission imagined that if they allowed the land certificate to remain in the Hands of the tenant, there might he some danger to the advance that was absurd. The bonâ fide purchaser would know that the advance was on the face of the certificate, and that that would be full notice to everybody. Everybody knew what these things were, and that the first charge on the, holding was the charge to the Land Commission.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND
said these Amendments dealt almost entirely with administrative details. They were put down at short notice, and without having an opportunity of considering them he had difficulty in accepting or refusing to accept them. The present Amendment was only placed on the Paper that morning, and it had been impossible to communicate with the Department which it concerned. He suggested that the hon. Member should withdraw the Amendment for the present, that he might communicate with The Land Commission.
MR. T. M. HEALY
trusted that when the Attorney General had communicated with the Land Commission he would express his opinion irrespective of the Land Commission, and not take a merely Departmental view of his position as Attorney General. The Commission had acted absolutely in repeal of an Act of Parliament. It was "a congested district of folly" in a great many respects.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
said that any decision the Government might come to would be on their own responsibility. But it was only fair the Government should have proper materials for a decision. While he was grateful to the Committee for the business-like way in which the discussion had been conducted, he was a little alarmed at its slowness. He was anxious that full time should be given 394 to the discussion of Clause 4, and he hoped he should not be going beyond his province in asking for expedition.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Montrose Burghs)
asked whether Clause 4 would be taken and the Committee stage of the Bill finished to-morrow?
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY
intimated that he would withdraw his Amendment. He hoped the Attorney General would give personal attention to the matter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 27,—