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Land Purchase

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 22 June 1922

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60 and 61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether the changed status of Southern Ireland has in any way affected the liability of the British Government which they undertook under the provisions of the Wyndham Irish Land Purchase Act: whether, in any event, the British Government will make itself responsible that the financial provisions of that Act are completely carried out;

(2) whether the Treasury will continue to place a sum approximating from four to live million pounds at the disposal of the Irish Land Commission for the purpose of liquidating the liabilities of the Imperial Government under the Wyndham Irish Land Purchase Act; whether all those persons owning Irish estates who have reached the stage of pending transactions will, in the event of final sanction being given to their claims, receive payment; how long it will be before all pending transactions will be completed and paid and what is the estimated aggregate amount outstanding?

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary gave him on the 10th and 17th May last in which he was informed that it might be assumed that all pending purchase transactions would be completed and that it was contemplated that such transactions should be proceeded with in the same way as if there had been no change of Government. I cannot say how long it will be before all such transactions will be completed and paid. The estimated aggregate amount outstanding is approximately seven and a half million pounds. On the general question of land purchase, I can only say that negotiations between His Majesty's Government and the Provisional Government initiated some time ago, but that owing to the preoccupation of the Provisional Government with more urgent matters these negotiations have not yet been completed.