§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that, in consequence of the rise in tithe rentcharge from less than £76 in 1914 to more than £103 now, and of the increases in rating, the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of half the rates on tithe rentcharge attached to benefices under the Tithe Rentcharge (Rates) Act, 1899, which before the War was never as much as £170,000 in any financial year, has increased to more than £477,000 for the last financial year; what is the total amount of the tithe rentcharge attached to benefices in respect of the rates on which such payments were made; and, if not, whether he will issue instructions that, in the making of these payments, information shall be obtained and noted of the amounts of the tithe rentcharge in respect of the rates on which such payments are made, as well as of the amounts of the rates thereon?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER:
I am aware of the increase in payments under the Tithe Rentcharge (Rates) Act, 1899. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture informed the hon. and gallant Member on the 23rd February, no exact statistics of the amount of tithe rentcharge attached to benefices are available, but the total par value is estimated at about £2,000,000. The compilation of exact figures would involve an expenditure which would not, I think, be justified by the value of the information.