§ MR. GINNELL
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if the Treasury is aware that a vendor under the Land Act of 1903 benefits in proportion to the amount of his debts, within the limits of solvency, by receiving public money free of interest, or at low interest, to pay off private debts at high interest; that tenants pressed for arrears of rent which their farms have not yielded are not free agents, but sign purchase agreements as their only escape from that pressure; that the bonus is increased proportionately by the amount which the vendor thus obtains; and, if this absence of free bargaining and of inspection for value be 63 contrary to sound finance, will Parliament be asked to provide a remedy.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
I cannot conveniently discuss, in Question and Answer across the floor of the House, the different views that may be held of the effect and policy of the Act of 1903. I have no knowledge of any tenants not being free agents, or of any absence of free bargaining. I understand that inspection is made in every case where fair rents have not been already fixed; and where fair rents have been fixed Section 1of the Act applies. The bonus is, under Section 48 (1) of the Act "calculated at the rate of 12 per cent. on the amount of the purchase money advanced."