§ MR. GINNELL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, having regard to the fact demonstrated by the Estates Commissioners that under the zone system the price of land in Ireland has been raised 68½ per cent. in excess of true value, and the danger involved in the continuance of a system producing such a result, whether he will include the abolition of the zones and the restoration of inspection in any Bill which he contemplates introducing for amending in other respects the Land Act of 1903.
* MR. BRYCE
I am not aware of any statement made by the Estates Commissioners to the effect that under the zone system the price of land has been raised 68½ per cent. in excess of true value. The hon. Member probably refers to the statement in the Commissioners' last annual Report to the effect that the average price per acre, inclusive of bonus, received by landlords since the passing of the Act of 1903 is 68½ per cent. more than the average price per acre during the preceding five years when there was no bonus. I do not observe that the Commissioners have sought to draw any conclusion as to true value. As I have previously stated, the Government are carefully watching the operations under the Act with the view of seeing whether amending legislation may be necessary, but I am not yet in a position to make any announcement on the subject.