§ MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to a letter in the Freeman's Journal of 30th April, signed P. Gallagher, in reference to the collection of tithe rent in Ireland by the Land Commissioners; whether several years' tithe rent-charge are allowed to remain unpaid by landowners; and, if he can state what the amount of loss under this head has now totalled to in Ireland?
§ * MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I have read the letter in question. The Land Commissioners inform me that it is not the fact that several years' arrears of tithe rent-charge are allowed to remain unpaid by landlords in any case where the Commissioners have sufficient information to proceed. Between the date of the passing of the Irish Church 439 Act in July, 1869, and March 31, 1895, the amount of tithe rent-charge remitted or written off as irrecoverable amounted to £16,061, of which £6,021 represents the amount remitted to tithe payers pursuant to the provisions of the 17th section of the Arrears of Rent Act, 1882. During the same period the tithe rent-charge collected and, when necessary, recovered by legal process, has amounted to considerably more than half a million per annum. Assuming, therefore, the amount collected to have been £500,000 a year, the total collection throughout the past 26 years on this basis would, roughly, amount to about £13,000,000, and the percentage of the sum of £10,040 written off as irrecoverable on the total collection would be about 0.08.