§ 71. Major Sir GRANVILLE WHELER
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the costs charged for the compulsory redemption of tithe rentcharge; and whether he will secure that, in the compulsory redemption of tithe rentcharge of amounts up to 411 annual value, the costs of such redemption shall in no ease exceed an amount equal to one-quarter of the capital value of the tithe redeemed?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Guinness)
Compulsory redemption usually entails a survey of the lands, the assessment of the shares of redemption money and expenses amongst all the landowners concerned, and the collection and recovery of such amounts. The scale of fees has been framed in order to ensure, as far as possible, that no expense is thrown on the Exchequer as a result of the Ministry exercising its statutory duties with regard to the redemption of tithe rentcharge, and I am, therefore, unable to adopt the proposal put forward by my hon. Friend.
§ Sir G. WHELER
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that in cases where the capitalised value has been only £12 10s. the unfortunate man has had to meet a charge of £10 in costs, and that in many cases the amount of charges has gone up to the equivalent of 82 per cent. of the capitalised value; and whether it is fair that the tithe payer should be compelled to meet so large a charge.
§ Mr. GUINNESS
I admit that in these small cases the redemption charges are very high in comparison with the rentcharge, but for the reasons I have given these are the most costly cases, and we have no alternative except to put the charge on these people or on the Exchequer.