HC Deb 20 March 1911 vol 23 cc204-5W

asked the Parliamentary-Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether he was aware that 175 payers of tithes in North Walsham (which tithes were sold by auction in the year 1904 at 10 years' purchase) are now being compelled to redeem their tithes under the Tithes Act at 25 years' purchase on the application of the present tithe owners, who thus make a profit of 150 per cent., and that, in addition to the 25 years' purchase, the tithe payers are being called upon to pay the whole cost of the redemption proceedings, being 12¼ per cent. on the redemption money; whether, under the circumstances, the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, instead of making an order for the redemption of these tithes will make an order for reapportionment; and whether the Board will introduce legislation to so amend the Tithe Acts as to prevent this class of speculation?


The original application was for the redemption of Impropriate Tithe amounting to £94 16s. 1d., and Vicarial Tithe amounting to £44 18s. 1d. In accordance with their usual practice the Board gave full consideration to all the circumstances brought before them, and in the draft schedule of assessment now deposited for inspection in the parish the amounts have been reduced to £47 11s. 6d. and £22 10s. 11d. Further sums amounting to £3 10s. 2d. have since been excluded, and any representations made to the Board as regards the remainder will be carefully considered. Wherever it is possible under the provisions of the Tithe Acts a reapportionment is offered, but where the offer is ignored it is assumed that redemption is preferred. At present the number of persons in the assessment is 146, and of these 122 are liable for tithe rent charges not exceeding 5s. The expenses of the redemption are by the Tithe Acts chargeable on the landowners, and are calculated on the usual statutory scale. The Board have no power to investigate the manner in which tithe owners become possessed of their property, bat in the event of any Amendment of the Tithe Acts being proposed the suggestion of the hon. Member will be considered. There is no present intention of proposing legislation.