§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
To ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that, for the eleven years from 1879–80 to 1889–90 inclusive, there were sold by auction by the Indian Government in the Madras Presidency, in default of payment of land revenue, 1,963,364 acres of land held by 840,713 defaulters, as well as personal property amounting in value to 493 2,965,081 rupees (£197,672); and, in view of the fact that out of 1,963,364 acres of land put up for auction only 779,142 acres were sold, will he say how the remaining 1,184,222 acres which were bought in by the Government for want of bidders have been dealt with.
(Answered by Secretary Lord George Hamilton.) I am aware of the figures. The majority of the sales occurred in the first three years of the period, and were due to the exceptional circumstances created by the great drought of 1876–8. Since its effects have disappeared from the Presidency, the sales for arrears of revenue on a total acreage of about 22,000,000 acres have averaged less than 50,000 acres a year. The land bought in by Government for want of ladders is ordinarily re-allotted to cultivators on application. Much of it is of the poorest quality, and is in demand only in years exceptionally favourable to temporary extensions of cultivation.
§ MR. WEIR
To ask the Secretary of State for India, in view of the fact that of the 2,306,460 acres of land which were put up for auction by the Indian Government in the Madras Presidency in default of payment of Land Revenue during the twenty-one years ending 30th June, 1900, the average holding of each defaulter was about 2½ acres, can he state the average amount due from each defaulter, and the total amount of remissions during the same period.
(Answered by Secretary Lord George Hamilton.)The returns do not enable me to give the information asked for in the first part of the Question for any years preceding 1887. For the period 1887–1900 the amount due by each defaulter whose land was put up for auction averaged Rs.15.89. In the twenty-one years ending 1900 the remissions of land revenue in the ryotwari districts in Madras amounted to 282 lacs of rupees.