§ MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN (Cork)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the figures as to arrears of tenant-purchasers' annuities under the Purchase Act of 1903 and the previous Purchase Acts cannot be procured without difficulty by the Estates Commissioners; is it a fact that the arrears under all the Acts are inconsiderable and that they are even less under the Act of 1903 than under the previous Acts; and whether, in view of the forthcoming measure to provide funds for the payment of the £40,000,000 worth of land now outstanding, he will publish these figures without delay, as the best proof that advances under this Act are not attended with any loss or danger to the Imperial taxpayer.
§ THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. CHERRY,) Liverpool, Exchange
The Land Commission have furnished me with the information asked for by the hon. Member, in advance of their annual Report, which will shortly be published. There are in all 116,992 payers of annuities under the three sets of Land Purchase Acts, and the total amount payable is £1,448,991. On 1st instant 1,013 payers were in arrear, to the amount of £9,132, in respect of annuities due up to the end of last year. I will circulate with to-night's Votes a tabular statement showing separately and in detail the arrears under the different sets of Land Purchase Acts. It s the fact, as suggested by the hon. Member, that the annuities under all 1667 the Acts have been very well paid, and that the arrears under the Act of 1903 are proportionately somewhat smaller than those under the earlier Acts.