60. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE
asked the Home Secretary, in regard to the Northern Ireland Land Act, 1926, the number of estates in Northern Ireland where sale has been completed by the 1st November, 1926; the number where sale had been completed up to date; the number of estates for which the money had been lodged in Court; the number of estates from which the money has been paid; the number of estates in which the bonus has been paid; and, if there is any delay, will he ascertain the cause of it and take steps to have payment expedited?
§ Captain HACKING
The question does not state the procedure quite accurately. The number of estates vested in the Land Purchase Commission under the new Act by the 1st November was 147, and up to date is 235. Bonds representing the purchase money on 130 estates have been brought to credit and the purchase money and bonus for 19 estates have been distributed. I might perhaps explain that before the purchase money can be allocated a careful examination of the title to the estate, often involving much time and labour, has to be conducted and rulings thereon issued to owners' solicitors who have to satisfy requirements of the Commission. Titles have been read and rulings issued in 117 estates. All possible steps are being taken by the Commission to expedite the work, and my right hon. Friend has under consideration proposals recently made by them for securing this end.