HC Deb 03 May 1898 vol 57 cc156-7
MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he can state the number of defaulters in the Presidency of Madras, in addition to the 56,648 whose lands were sold for non-payment of land assessment in the seven years 1887–94, whose personal property was sold for the same reason in those seven years; whether the Madras land revenue returns for the years 1894–5 and 1895–6 have yet been received at the India Office, and whether they contain this information; and, if so, can he state the number of cultivators whose land or personal property was sold for non-payment of assessment in those two years, and also in the previous seven years; whether he can state the proportion of land sold for non-payment of assessment which was bought in by Government, and what was bought by other persons respectively, and whether the former amounts to more than 44 per cent.; and whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the last Report received from the Madras Government relating to land revenue affairs?


The number of defaulters, whose personal property was sold for nonpayment of land revenue in Madras during the seven years 1887–94, was on the average of those years 7,967 in each year, out of a total number of more than three million holdings under Government besides a very large number under Zemindars. The reports do not specify whether these defaulters were in addition to the defaulters whose land was sold. The Madras revenue returns for 1894–95 and 1895–96 have been received; and they give the numbers of defaulters whose real property and personal property was sold for arrears of land revenue. If the terms "land" and "real property" are assumed for this purpose to be convertible, then the figures are—

Seven years. Two years.
1887–94 1894–96
Defaulters whose land was sold 56,648 14,411
Defaulters whose personal property was sold 55,772 6,717
During the nine years to which the foregoing figures relate the proportion of defaulters' lands bought in by Government was between 44 and 45 per cent.; and the proportion bought in by other persons was between 55 and 56. Copies of the Madras land revenue reports for the years 1894–95 and 1895–96 can be furnished to the honourable Member if he wishes for them. I do not propose to lay them on the Table.