HC Deb 31 March 1908 vol 187 cc300-1

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the stamp duties payable on the registration of a deed under The Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, 1891, are considerably higher than those charged in the old registering of deeds, with the result that for certain classes of conveyances, such as family deeds or settlements, the new procedure instead of being cheaper is considerably more expensive than the old; whether, in the case of large holdings, the registry fees in the local registry run to £3 or £4 as against the fixed fee of 10s. 6d. in the old registry of deeds; and whether he will represent to the proper authorities that a maximum fee should be fixed in the local registry somewhat approximating to the fee in the registry of deeds.

(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) Stamp duty is regulated by the Stamp Acts, and is, therefore, necessarily the same in the registry of titles and the registry of deeds. On the other hand the fees payable in the registry of deeds are regulated by 2 and 3 Will. 4, c. 87 (Schedule B), and depend on the length of the memorial, the number of grantors, and the number of denominations affected; whereas the fees payable in the registry of titles depend on the value of the land or charge affected by Section 8 of the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, 1891. No proper comparison can accordingly be made between the two sets of fees, but it may be pointed out that the minimum fee in both offices is 8s., while there is no maximum fee in either office. It is the fact that the more valuable the land the higher the fees in the registry of titles, but it should be remembered that registration in that office gives a conclusive title, which is not the case in the registry of deeds. Also in the registration of charges in the registry of titles there is not the expense of a memorial, nor is any special fee allowed to the solicitor for the registration in that office. It follows that in most cases the actual cost to the public is less in the registry of title than in the registry of deeds. The question of the fees in the registry of titles has been for some time under consideration. When a new schedule is being prepared the question of a maximum fee will be carefully considered.