HC Deb 12 December 1911 vol 32 cc2310-1

Section sixty-one, Sub-section (1), of The Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, shall be read as if there were inserted in line six that if after the word Acts the words and for determining the principal value of any holding subject to an annuity payable to the Land Commission from which there shall be deducted the amount of the outstanding mortgage due to the said Land Commission.

My desire in moving this Clause is to get from the Chancellor of the Exchequer a clear and explicit declaration of the manner in which we should interpret Section 61, Sub-section (1) of the Finance (1909–10) Act. I ask for this information because I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able to give an answer that will allay apprehensions which have arisen in Ireland. What I want to know is whether, when a farm is purchased under any of the Land Acts and the value of the holding does not exceed £1,000, there is the option of taking advantage of Section 7, Sub-section (5) of the principal Act. This is an important matter for tenant purchasers in Ireland. If the value of farms is to be estimated at their market value, as it is alleged in some cases it is, then it would put an end to land purchase in Ireland. It is only fair to the people of Ireland that the Treasury should make it clear that the tenant farmers can still come under the original form of valuation provided the estate is under £1,000. I therefore ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether "tenant purchasers or tenants who have agreed to purchase under any of the Land Acts, although the saleable value of their holdings may exceed £1,000, have the option of taking advantage of the proviso of Subsection (5) of Section 7 of the Principal Act, and it is only when the value of the estate calculated on the latter basis (the amount advanced or to be advanced having been deducted from the principal value) exceeds £1,000, that such holdings are to be estimated at their market value."


I wish to second the Clause. The question my hon. Friend desires to have cleared up is this: Whether when a purchase agreement has been signed the value of the farm will be ascertained in the same way as it would be ascertained in case a vesting order had been made on that purchase agreement. It is the position of the man who has signed a purchase agreement during the interval between the signing of the agreement and the making of a vesting order that is the subject of the Clause. My hon. Friend only wants to have cleared up the point whether during that interval the same principle will be adopted in order to determine the value of the farm as is adopted under the Act when the vesting order has been made on that purchase agreement. If that is so my hon. Friend will be quite satisfied.


If the words of this Clause are in themselves too wide, I think I can give the assurance the hon. and learned Member desires—namely, that where the tenant has entered into an agreement to purchase, then if he dies and his estate is not worth more than £1,000 net the old twenty-five years rule will apply.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move that the following new Clause be read a second time:—

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