§ 23. Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the relief granted by Section 61, Sub-section (1), of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, to the valuation of property subject to statutory conditions under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts, and for the purpose of determining the value of property for the purpose of Section 16, Sub-section (3), of the principal Act, applies to property inherited at the expiration of a life interest under the same will which created the life interest; whether he is aware that last year the Financial Secretary to the Treasury gave an undertaking to the hon. Member for North Meath during the Committee stage of the Finance Bill that the option of taking advantage of Sub-section (5) of Section 7 of the principal Act was applicable to the valuation of all holdings where its operation brought the valuation of the estate under £1,000 without any exception; whether he is aware that in some cases the Revenue authorities have refused to accept valuations made in accordance with the Sections referred to and the promise of the Financial Secretary because a life interest intervened between the death of the devisor and the person who now inherits; and whether he will give instructions that the same regulations shall apply to the valuation of all holdings of equal value brought under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The relief to which the hon. Member refers in the first part of the question applies to the valuation of any tenancy which is subject to statutory conditions under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts whether such valuation relates to a tenancy forming part of the deceased's free estate, or to a settled tenancy in which the deceased had a life interest. Where, however, an agreement for purchase has been entered into, whether or not a vesting order has been made, the property is no longer a mere tenancy within the meaning of the first 1830 part of Sub-section (1) of Section 61 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, and relief is consequently precluded under the Subsection unless the case falls within the last part of the same Sub-section, which extends similar relief to property coming within the provisions of Section 16 of the Finance Act, 1894. Section 16, however, does not apply to settled property in which the deceased had a life interest or to free estate of which the whole net value exceeds £1,000. The undertaking given last year by the then Financial Secretary to the Treasury was to the effect that in cases where the tenant had entered into an agreement to purchase, and died leaving an estate of an amount such that Section 16 of the principal Act was applicable, the old twenty-five years' rule would hold good. This undertaking was in accordance with the provisions of the last part of Sub-section (1) of Section 61 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, and has been complied with strictly, but there is no sanction for extending it, as the hon. Member suggests, to settled property, which is outside the terms of the Sub-section.