§ MR. GINNELL (Westmeath, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will explain the disparity between rents fixed by different sub-commission courts, and 1135 especially between rents fixed before and since 1903; why the judicial rents fixed now do not bear the same relation to current prices of produce and of labour that rents fixed sixteen years ago bore to the prices of that time; why some sub-commissioners do, while others do not, fix rents on the tenant's improvements and occupation interest; and if he will take any steps to bring about approximate uniformity of view and of decision on a given set of facts.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
The Land Commission inform me that they are not aware of any disparity between the rents fixed by different sub-commission Courts, nor between rents fixed before and since 1903, nor that the rents fixed now do not bear the same relation to current prices of produce and labour that rents fixed sixteen years ago did to the prices of that time. They further state that it is not the case, as alleged, that sub-commissioners fix rents upon the tenant's improvements. It was judicially decided some years ago that, in fixing a fair rent upon a holding, the holding is not to be valued as if in the landlord's hands available for letting to an incoming tenant, and that, on the other hand, no deduction is to be made by reason of the tenant's occupation interest, beyond his interest in the improvements on the holding. The Land Commission believe that the assistant commissioners loyally observe this decision. The Land Commission also believe that under the present system of fixing fair rents, and especially considering the right of appeal which exists, approximate uniformity of view and decision has been obtained.