§ MR. FETHERSTONHAUGH (Fermanagh, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state upon what precedent he relies for the compulsory taking of lands, leaving the expropriated owner to bear his own costs of making title to the lands, all charges thereon, and to all head rents and superior interests, in order to obtain payment of the purchase money awarded to him; is he aware that in the case of a small estate with a difficult title cost of title would form a very large proportion of the value of the property; and will he consider, in framing the Irish Land Bill, 1909, the propriety of indemnifying persons who wish to keep their land, but are expropriated in the public interest against all costs of fixing the price and making title which are thus forced on them.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The hon. and learned Member is, I think, right in assuming that when lands are taken compulsorily for public purposes the vendor is generally indemnified against the costs of making title.
§ MR. FETHERSTONHAUGH
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether, having regard to the fact that the Irish Land Bill of 1908, while providing for the compulsory deprivation of landowners in Ireland of lands in their own occupation, and which they may desire earnestly to retain, leaves them to bear all costs of making title to the lands of which in the presumed interest of the State 87 they are to be deprived, and whether the area of the land taken be large or small, and however difficult and expulsive making title may be, he will consider the advisability of making provision for the costs of title and also of the assessment of the value of the lands proposed to be taken so that the landowners may get the value of their land without deduction.
§ MR. BIRRELL
Under the Bill as introduced, I do not think that the costs of the assessment of the value of lands proposed to be taken would fall upon the vendor in the case of compulsory sale, as the hon. and learned Member assumes. As regards the costs of title, I shall be prepared to favourably consider any suggestion in Committee for indemnifying vendors from such costs in case of compulsory sale, as was done by the Evicted Tenants Act of last year.