§ MR. O'DOHERTY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in cases of first voluntary registration, cases under the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, in the years 1893 and 1894 the registration authorities insisted on insurance fees being paid by the applicants in all such cases; and, seeing that it was subsequently decided that in such cases insurances were not payable, whether there has been any return made, to the parties entitled, of the fees thus paid by them; and, if not, can he state how much was thus paid, and whether steps will be taken to have such fees returned.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. ATKINSON, Londonderry, N.)
The question turns upon the construction of the 29th section of the Act. Formerly, registration under that section was, in certain cases, considered voluntary, and therefore fees were demanded. Latterly the office considered it more in accordance with the spirit of the Act to treat the registration in this matter as compulsory, no fees being demanded, but the point has never been decided. These fees have been paid by 1,608 persons, and amount to £428 14s. They have not been returned.
§ MR. O'DOHERTY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the average time within which a transfer or charge, registered under the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, can be completed is three weeks; and whether, seeing that Section 40, Subsection 2, of that Act provides that no interest in the lands is conferred until actual registration, hardships are occasioned to the parties interested by reason of this delay, and that a like transfer or 960 charge can be registered in the Registry of Deeds in one day, he will take steps to have the time shortened within which registration can be completed under the said Act.
I beg also to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fees payable on transfers and charges of land registered under the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act as compared with those payable for registration of transfers and charges in the Registry of Deeds Office, Dublin, and seeing that in case of a transfer of land under the said Act, the consideration in the transfer being £1,000, the fees payable in case of a transfer amount to £1 16s., and in case of a charge to £1 11s., whereas in similar transactions in the Deeds Office the fees would only amount to 10s. 6d., whether steps will be taken by the Government to reduce the fees so payable to the same rate as at present paid for registration of deeds in the Deeds Office with the view of cheapening and facilitating transfer of land in Ireland.
§ MR. ATKINSON
The questions are based upon an entire misconception of the object and provisions of the Registration of Titles Act. In the registry of deeds the registration is merely formal. All that that office is required to do is to ascertain whether the memorial of the deed corresponds with the deed in certain particulars. In the registry of titles the legal effect of the deed, and the nature of the interests it purports to convey must be ascertained and stated. This is often a matter of great difficulty and necessarily requires more time, and a somewhat different procedure. As a consequence the costs must be different, the officers of the Government doing in the latter case much of the work done by the solicitor of the party in the former—and the comparison between the two systems is quite misleading. Sub-section 2, of Section 40, has not the effect mentioned. The registration, when made, relates back to the date of lodgment in the Registry. There is no inconvenience such as suggested. The minimum cost of registering any deed in the Registry of Deeds is £2, made up of fees, 13s. and £1 7s. to solicitor for drafting memorial and registering deed. In the registry of titles the minimum fee, where the consideration 961 (as in the majority of cases) is less than £100, is 8s., made up of registration fee 5s., insurance fee 2s., and notice 1s.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to argue as to the meaning of the provisions of an Act of Parliament.