§ SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the normal term of repayment under Section 25 of the Irish Land Act, 1896, is seventy-two and a half years or forty-two and a half years; and whether he can state in how many cases up to and ending 31st March last have tenant purchasers intimated that they will repay on the forty two and a half years system; in how many cases have they intimated that with decadal reductions they will pay on the seventy-two and a half years system; and further down to the same date in how many cases have tenant purchasers under the Acts of 1885, 1888, and 1891 exercised the option, given to them under Section 25 of the Act of 1896, and converted their periods of repayment from forty-nine years to seventy-nine years so as to secure decadal reductions.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The main provisions of Section 25 are prospective, as well as retrospective, and in effect every land purchase annuity at the end of the decade is reduced unless, in accordance with Sub-section (3), the proprietor of a holding applies that the annuity shall not be reduced for the coming decade. If he so applies the annuity is not reduced and then the normal term of repayment, in cases of annuities created since the Act of 1896, is forty-two and a half years. The effect of each of the three decade applications is to extend the term from forty-two and a half years to seventy-two and a half years. Eight hundred and ninety-seven purchasers under the Acts of 1891–1896 became 113 entitled to the decade revision up to 1st May, 1903, and of these nineteen objected to have their annuities varied. Under the Acts of 1885–1888, 22,247 purchasers became similiarly entitled to the decade revision, and of these 1,011 objected to the revision. In cases under the Acts of 1885–1888 the result of the application of the decade system is to extend the term from forty-nine to seventy-nine years, provided the reduction is made at the end of each of the three decades.