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Land Purchase (Ireland)

Volume 65: debated on Thursday 30 July 1914

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asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware of the continuing loss sustained, through no fault of theirs, by payers of interest in lieu of rent for land for which many of them signed purchase agreements eight or nine years ago; whether he is aware that all their payments are in addition to the prices they agreed to pay and in excess of the annuities they agreed to pay, and that they are now neither becoming owners, nor secure in their position, nor diminishing the debt they have contracted to the State; whether they are being dealt with impartially in the order of date of signature; whether he will state the order of progress in the respective registers now kept; what the cause of the delay is; and whether he will expedite the completion of the sales?

In their purchase agreements the tenants contracted to pay interest in lieu of rent on the purchase money until the date of their holdings being vested in them, and this interest is less than the rent they would have to pay if they had not agreed to purchase. Estates pending for sale before the Estates Commissioners are dealt with in their Order on the Registers in accordance with the Regulations made under Section 23 (8) of the Irish Land Act, 1903, and Section 4 of the Act of 1909. The sales are being dealt with by the Commissioners as rapidly as possible.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that eight years is an unexpected and an entirely unreasonable period?

It is a long period, but it really does not arise from want of money. It arises from the difficulty in getting work through having regard to the enormous details which have to be carried out.


asked the Chief Secretary whether the Clements estate, Derry, county Mayo, has yet been acquired by the Congested Districts Board; and whether he is aware that the agent of this estate has declared to the tenants that the delay in purchase is due to the dilatory policy of the Board?

The estate referred to has not yet been purchased by the Congested Districts Board. An offer for purchase was issued in December, 1913, which was not accepted. Negotiations have since been proceeding, and the matter is at present under consideration. The Board have no information as to the statement alleged to have been made by the agent to the tenants.