§ MR. JOHN ROCHE (Galway, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Congested Districts Board keep a record, in tabulated form, by counties, of the area and valuation of the lands purchased by them, and the price paid for each property, showing the amount paid for occupation interest, and the amount paid for fee-simple, together with the sum expended on dwelling-houses, farm buildings, drainage, fencing, striping, or other improvements on these lands, the area and annuity of each allotted plot, with the name of the lardlord and occupier from whom purchased; whether a tabulated record by counties is kept of the area and valuation of lands which they have offered to purchase, but were unable to buy, together with the price demanded and the price refused, showing amount offered for fee-simple and amount offered for occupation interest, together with the name of the landlord and occupier in each case; and whether a similar record is kept by the Estates Commissioners; if not, will instructions be given to these Government Departments to keep such records for the information of Parliament.
The Congested Districts Board keep for their own purposes records of all the matters referred to in the 44 Question, but they always treat as confidential their negotiations for purchase in cases where no agreement is arrived at. The prices offered in these cases are duly recorded. The price offered is for the fee-simple. No offer is made for occupation interest. Detailed information as to the estates purchased is given in the Board's annual reports. The Estates Commissioners keep records of all estates purchased by them under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and from these records are compiled the elaborate statements in tabular form appended to their annual reports. The particulars recorded comprise, by counties, the area and price of estates purchased by them, and the valuation when known. No price is paid by the Commissioners for occupation interest. Full particulars are also kept of the sums expended on improvements; also of the area and annuity of the plots allotted, and the name of the landlord and purchaser. The Commissioners also keep a record of the area of, and price offered for, all estates as to which their offer has been refused by the owner, but the negotiations in cases of this kind are regarded as confidential and the details cannot be published. The price offered is in all cases for the fee-simple interest; the Commissioners do not make advances for the purchase of tenants' occupation interest. In addition to the information given in the annual report, monthly returns are now being presented to Parliament, which give, in tabular form, by estates, the name of each purchaser of a holding, the townland, area, valuation, rent, tenure, price, amount of advance, and date of advance.
§ MR. KILBRIDE (Kildare, S.)
Will this information which the right hon. Gentleman says is confidential be at the disposal of the Commission about to be appointed?
I should say it would, but it would be treated as confidential, I imagine. That, however, is a matter for the Commission itself.
§ MR. KILBRIDE
Would it not be important for the Commissioners to hare particulars of the offers made by unreasonable and unconciliatory landords in Ireland?
There is no reason why the Commission should not have at its disposal every kind of information it requires.