§ MR. GINNELL (Westmeath, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will explain why, whereas the Land Commissioners and Sub-Commissioners, when fixing rents on yearly tenancies in 1896–7, gave reductions averaging, for the whole of Ireland, more than 27 per cent. on both first and second-term rents, in 1904–5 they gave reductions of only 14.8 on first-term and 15.8 on second-term rents, and they are at present giving smaller reductions or none; and will he enable the public to test the statistics used in arriving at these decisions and method of using them, and especially the method according to which rents appear to be increased by any enhanced value of the holding, due solely to the tenant's labour and money.
§ * THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
I am informed by the Land Commission that first-term statutory rents fixed by Chief and Sub-Commissions in the year 1896–7 showed an average reduction of 27.6 per cent., and the second-term statutory rents an average reduction of 27 per cent. The corresponding figures for the year 1904–5 were 14.8 and 15.8 per cent., respectively. And for the period of nine months ending December 31st last the figures were 18.9 and 15.8, respectively. I have already pointed out to the hon. Member that Parliament has 379 placed the determination of rents in the hands of the Land Commission. Their decisions in the matter are judicial decisions, and I am not aware that I have any power to inquire into the merits of those decisions. I have repeatedly stated that the Land Commission inform me that it is not the fact that rents are increased upon tenants' improvements.
§ MR. GINNELL
inquired if copies of the rules and instructions to the Commissioners were not yet obtainable by Members of the House?
§ MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)
complained that the tenants did not get the full benefit of the improvements which they themselves made.