§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, how he arrived at the sum of £4,000,000 second term rents to be dealt with by the Land Bill, seeing that first term judicial rents†See page 475.795 amount to £5,483,558 on 342,019 holdings, when there remain, after deducting 73,917 holdings already bought, 74,365 holdings to be dealt with to make up the total of 490,301 holdings in Ireland; and whether the estimate of £4,000,000 includes demesne lands; and, if not, what is the estimated annual value of such lands.
§ MR. ATKINSON
The question of the hon. Member appears to be based on several erroneous assumptions. Firstly, he assumes that the Land Acts apply to each of the 490,301 agricultural holdings in Ireland, whereas there are tens of thousands of such holdings to which those Acts do not apply at all. Secondly, he assumes that none of the 73,917 holdings purchased were included in the holdings upon which rents were fixed for a first time, whereas many of them were so included. Thirdly, he appears to leave out of account the 87,835 holdings on which rents were fixed a second time up to the end of December, 1902, with an average reduction on first term rents of 21.4 per cent., amounting to £310,783. The estimate of £4,000,000 was the best approximation that could be made. My right hon. friend did not profess that it was absolutely accurate. The rental of those particular demesne lands to which the Land Acts apply was taken into account. I must refer the hon. Member to Section 58 of the Act of 1896, and Clause 9 of the Bill, to ascertain what those demesne and other lands are.
§ MR. LAMBERT
asked if the right hon. and learned Gentleman could state what was the number of holdings to which the Land Bill applied.