HL Deb 13 April 1883 vol 278 cc187-8

asked the Lord President of the Council, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to a letter which recently appeared in the Dublin "Daily Express," signed by Mr. Thomas W. Webber, showing the unjust effect of the Arrears Act on those landlords who are liable to the payment of annual drainage instalments; and whether the Treasury will consider the expediency and justice of remitting such instalments proportionate to the amount of arrears of rent cancelled. The noble Marquess said, it seemed to him that the grossest injustice would be done to landlords under the Arrears Act if instalments were not remitted by the Treasury; but he understood that the Treasury were taking proceedings against certain landlords to recover these instalments. On referring to the Arrears Act, he found that certain public charges made under the Act were I to be remitted; but that did not appear to be the ease in respect to loans. Consequently this would happen—that landlords would have to pay 6½ per cent to the Government and receive no remission; while tenants who owed arrears of rent would have remissions, and, at the same time, their rents would be reduced. He hoped the noble Lord would be able to give them some hope that the Treasury would look into the matter.


asked whether any remission would be made in regard to the sums which had been paid under the Church Act of 1869, on account of instalments of the capital sums to which tithe rent-charges might have been commuted, so as to place landlords who had commuted their tithe rent-charges under the 52 years' system on the same footing with regard to the Arrears Act of last year as those who had not commuted?


said, before the noble Lord answered the Question, he wished to say that the great grievance of the landlords was the slowness with which the arrears of money were being paid, and he should like to know whether any steps would be taken to accelerate the payments? Unless such were the case, it would be a long time before a great many could look forward to receiving the full amount due.


said, that, as regard the latter Question, he had not received any Notice, and as to the former—that of the noble Marquess—he was not able to answer it fully, as he had not been able to call the attention of the Treasury to it; but upon the face of the question he thought that the Treasury would say that this charge did not come within the Act, as the section referred to enumerated certain taxes and charges, and drainage instalments were not taxes, but repayments of public moneys; but he would make further inquiry, in order to give a I more complete answer at another time.