§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £500, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1911, for such of the Salaries and Expenses of the Supreme Court of Judicature and of certain other Legal Departments in Ireland as are not charged on the Consolidated Fund."
§ Mr. MOORE
On the appointment to the judicial bench of Ireland some years ago of Mr. Justice Dodd by hon. Members on the Front Bench, the Chief Secretary stated that Mr. Justice Dodd was appointed in order to try Land Commission appeals. I would like to ask the Chief Secretary how often Mr. Justice Dodd has tried Land Commission appeals during the last two or three years. There was a good deal of discussion in this House at the time of the appointment.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
This Supplementary Estimate provides for £500, which means a deficiency of £900 reduced to the sum of £500 by savings in other subjects. It arises from the fees which are now obtained as duty on sales in the Land Judge's Court, which were estimated to amount to £4,900, having only produced £4,000. I have inquired from the Registrar how he accounts for this falling off in the duty, and he tells me it is attributable to the fact, first of all, that a large number of arrears which had for a long time remained dormant have been cleared off in past years, and that the new cases which are being brought into the Court for sale are showing signs of diminution. He attributes to the reason that people have a preference for the Land Commission, where no duty is payable, and consequently the Land Judge's Court is not equally advantageous to the persons con- 1789 cerned. Another reason is that in the Land Commission Court a tenant for life is able to sell the fee simple, whether the estate is encumbered or unencumbered; whereas in the Land Judge's Court the tenant for life has no power to sell the fee simple unless it is encumbered, and in that case only so much as is necessary to pay off the encumbrance. The third reason he gives is that in the case of the sale of insolvent estates no duty is paid by the purchaser. For those reasons there has been this diminution in the Estimate of £900, which, however, is reduced to £500 by savings in other directions. That is the reason why the Supplementary Estimate has become necessary.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The point on Supplementary Estimates is that they do not, and particularly a small one like this, raise the policy of the original Estimate.