HC Deb 25 November 1908 vol 197 cc385-6
MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the figures he has given as being the average number of years purchase under the Land Act of 1903 in various counties in Ireland refer to rents actually paid or to the rents stated in the purchase agreements; whether he is aware that in tens of thousands of cases of non-judicial and first-term rents voluntary abatements have been obtained by the tenants and the actual rent paid has averaged 20 or 25 per cent. under the rent nominally payable; whether he is aware that the nominal rent, and not the actual rent, is invariably stated in the purchase agreements in such cases; whether, if so, the figures of years purchase for certain counties which contain a larger proportion of such cases would seem more favourable to the tenants than they really are; and whether, in the case of a tenant getting an abatement of 25 per cent. and buying at twenty-two years purchase of his actual rent, it would appear in the Return as if he purchased at sixteen and a half years purchase of the rent stated in his purchase agreement, thereby vitiating the calculation of average price.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The figures given represent the average number of years purchase on the rents legally payable, and could not be calculated on any other basis. The Land Commission are aware that in many cases voluntary abatements, varying according to circumstances, have been allowed.