§ 30. Mr. STOURTON
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been called to the fact that after nearly four years there still remain undelivered large sums of Irish Four and a-half Per Cent. Land Bonds guaranteed by the British Government due to those whose estates were compulsorily purchased under the Irish Free State Land Act of 1931; whether he can state the total nominal value of such bonds already handed over under the Act and the amount outstanding for delivery; and what steps it is proposed to take with the Irish Free State to negotiate a speedy completion of purchase?
Mr. J. H. THOMAS
Delivery of the Land Bonds issued in respect of land purchased in the Irish Free State under the Irish Free State Land Act of 1931 is entirely a matter for the Irish Free State Government, and I have no information as to the number of Bonds handed over or the amount outstanding for delivery. The matter does not appear to be one on which I have any ground for making representations to the Irish Free State Government.
§ Mr. STOURTON
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is an unfair burden upon those who were compulsorily dispossessed of their property as far back as 1931 and still await payment, and that great hardship has been caused particularly to small bondholders?
No, I do not understand that. I understand that the real difficulty is that certain people who are entitled to certain bonds have not received the script because of some difficulty, but most folk will not be worried about not receiving the script if they are satisfied that they are receiving the interest, and, as far as I know, they are receiving it.
I not only do not suggest that capital is of no account, but I think that capital is of very much account, and that is why I am always advocating that there should be no policy that will depreciate capital.