64. Mr. KELLY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether certificates of the redemption value of advances partly repaid are refused to solicitors by the Irish Land Commission on application; and, if so, will he represent to the Commissioners that the statutory amount of Stamp Duty payable on a conveyance of lands which have been purchased cannot be ascertained without very considerable difficulty and the risk of paying excessive Stamp Duty?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Where holdings liable to the payment of land purchase annuities are conveyed on sale, Stamp Duty is, under the Stamp Act, charged on the conveyance, not only on the consideration money paid by the transferee, but also on the outstanding portion of any advance made to the pur- 1624 chasing tenant. The Land Commission always furnishes certificates showing the amount of the outstanding advance so as to enable these deeds to be properly stamped, and are not aware that any difficulties have arisen of the nature implied in the question.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider that when several sales of the annuity have been paid the amount of the outstanding advance is less than the original advance?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No doubt as a debt is paid off it gradually diminishes. At the time of the transaction itself Stamp Duty has to be paid under the general law of the country. It is not peculiar to Ireland. It has to be paid not only on the consideration money, but also on the amount actually outstanding on the advance.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is invariably the amount of the original advance that the Land Commission return as the amount of the outstanding annuity?