HC Deb 08 June 1917 vol 94 c517

asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the facts that land monopolists, some helped by moneylenders, are taking advantage of the check to land purchase caused by the War to acquire new titles in large tracts of untenanted land which in normal times would be purchased and distributed, and that occupants of uneconomic holdings and landless men having moral and statutory rights to such lands and willing to produce food on them are thus being cheated out of their rights and the production of food lessened; and whether immediate action will be taken to stop the monopolising, nullify the new titles, and distribute all such lands as provided by the Purchase Acts?


The matter referred to in the question has been a subject of inquiry in the Irish Departments which deal with the land question, and I am advised that no case at present exists for preventing the sale and purchase of Irish land. Sv.ch a course would inflict great loss on all persons possessing landed interests either as absolute owners or otherwise. The Land Purchase Acts are intended to facilitate the transfer of land from the owners to the tenants, and contain no prohibition of the sale of land by private arrangement.