HL Deb 03 August 1871 vol 208 cc763-4

asked Her Majesty's Government—1. When compensation will be given to the private persons deprived of the right of presentation to benefices by the Irish Church Act? In putting this Question he did not mean to cast any slur on the Commissioners appointed under the Act, for he knew that their labours had been very heavy; but still that was no reason why the persons entitled to compensation should not know when it would be paid. 2. When arrangements will be made for allowing the commutation of tithe rentcharges provided for in the same Act? 3. Whether Her Majesty's Government have considered the propriety of any alterations in the terms for the sale of tithe rentcharges laid down in the same Act?


said, he thought the noble Lord was perfectly justified in asking these Questions, as nearly two years had elapsed since the passing of the Act. He was sure that no one was more aware than the noble Lord of the arduous character of the duties of the Commissioners, and until a comparatively recent period the whole of their time had been occupied on another part of their business, and they had not been able to direct their attention to fixing the amount of the compensations for the loss of the right to present to benefices. For that purpose very minute actuarian investigations were necessary, and it was only within the last fortnight that the Report of their actuary on the subject had been received. As the Report was now received, there was no need of further delay, and the payments would be made as fast as the official calculations were made in each particular case. With regard to the commutation of tithe rentcharges, he was able to state that any person entitled to commute might apply for a proper form, and as soon as that was filled up the commutation for the tithe rentcharge would be made. He was glad that the noble Lord had taken the opportunity of exculpating the Commissioners from all blame in the matter.