§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
asked whether agreements for the sale and purchase of land under the Land Purchase (Ireland) Acts entered into and lodged after 15th 1058 of September, 1909, and made on the basis of the financial terms of the Land Purchase Act of 1903, are being returned to the landlords and tenants with a view to their being altered to suit the new financial conditions; and whether it was the intention of the Government to so treat agreements entered into and lodged between 15th September and the date of the passing of the Act of 1909; and, if not, whether, in view of the fact that in Ireland it was generally understood that the new financial provisions would take effect as from the latter date, the Government will introduce legislation to give effect to this understanding, which the support of all parties in Ireland would make non-controversial?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Under Section 13 of the Act all agreements lodged or entered into after 15th September are future purchase agreements, and, as such, are subject to the new rate of annuity. This date was chosen as being as late a date as possible, while avoiding the rush to lodge agreements which might have taken place if a prospective date had been named. I had, however, hoped that before the Bill became law that date might be changed to the date of the passing of the Act. But a financial change of this nature could only properly have been made while the Bill was in Committee of this House, and no opportunity for making the change arose. The position has now become much complicated owing to the fact that in many cases revised agreements, in lieu of the returned agreements, have already been lodged, and in a large number of other cases new agreements are in process of making. In the case of some of these new agreements the revised terms are more favourable than the original terms to either the vendor or the purchaser, and in such cases the party so favoured would naturally object to revert to the old terms. I have, therefore, reluctantly come to the conclusion that much inconvenience and confusion would arise were the date to be altered.