§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the passing of the Land Act of 1909 has practically doubled the time a landlord has to wait for the purchase money of his estate under the Act of 1903; and whether he will endeavour to obtain a special advance from the Treasury to clear off these cases altogether, or at least deal with those in which there has been a delay of over four years?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
As regards the first part of the question, the hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension. The Act of 1909 enabled the Estates Commissioners to increase considerably the annual amount of advances, with the result that the total amount of advances applied for and pending at the passing of that Act will be paid off much earlier than would otherwise have been the case. Inasmuch as a preference is given under the Act to vendors in pending cases who take some of their payment in stock, there may be some delay in the case of vendors in direct sales who have decided to wait for payment in cash, but there is an acceleration in the other cases. The advances made in the financial year ended 31st March last exceeded those made in any previous year under the Land Purchase Acts. In view of this fact I do not see any necessity for further approaching the Treasury on the subject.
§ Mr. ASHLEY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether since the passing 1356 of the 1909 Act there has been no diminution in the amount of cash provided for landlords who sell their estates?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, Sir; all I say is that having regard to the great arrears of pending cases, we have proceeded far more quickly in getting rid of these arrears than we were able to do before.
§ Mr. KENNEDY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is not a fact that many of the landlords who sold under the 1909 Act have long since been paid their purchase money?
Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
asked when the Congested Districts Board propose to deal with the O'Callaghan Westrop estate, county Clare?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The owner of this estate, which is the subject of direct sale proceedings under the Land Purchase Acts, included in the proceedings some 200 acres of untenanted land for sale to the Estates Commissioners. He is willing to sell at the Commissioners' estimated price, and they hope to be in a position to deal with the lands at an early date.