PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

Official Report.

STANDING COMMITTEES A and B.

From 5th March to 4th August, 1925.

CONTENTS:

COL.

NORTHERN IRELAND LAND BILL 1 SUMMARY JURISDICTION (SEPARATION AND MAINTENANCE) BILL 25 VALUATION (METROPOLIS) BILL 45 GUARDIANSHIP OF INFANTS BILL 69 FORMER ENEMY ALIENS (DISABILITIES REMOVAL) BILL 85 ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE BILL [Lords] 109 MERCHANT SHIPPING (INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONVENTIONS) BILL [Lords] 169 RATING AND VALUATION BILL 193 BRITISH SUGAR (SUBSIDY) BILL 1121 IMPORTATION OF PEDIGREE ANIMALS BILL 1241 AGRICULTURAL RETURNS BILL 1253 CHINA INDEMNITY (APPLICATION) BILL 1269 RENT AND MORTGAGE INTEREST (RESTRICTIONS CONTINUATION) BILL 1349 BRITISH EMPIRE EXHIBITION (GUARANTEE) BILL 1393 ROADS IMPROVEMENT BILL 1429 CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILL 1485 TEACHERS' (SUPERANNUATION) BILL 1781 TITHE BILL 1937

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NORTHERN IRELAND LAND BILL.

THURSDAY, 5th MARCH, 1925.

3

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Sanders, Sir Robert (Chairman)

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel (Tiverton)

Ainsworth, Major (Bury)

Alexander, Mr. A. V. (Hillsborough)

*Allen, Lieut.-Colonel Sir William (Armagh)

Barker, Mr. (Abertillery)

Beamish, Rear-Admiral (Lewes)

Beckett, Mr. John (Gateshead)

Bourne, Captain (Oxford)

Brigge, Mr. (Blackley)

Brown, Major Clifton (Hexham)

*Buchanan, Mr. (Gorbals)

Clayton, Mr. (Widnes)

Cluse, Mr. (Islington, South)

*Craig, Captain Charles (Antrim)

Craig, Mr. Ernest (Crewe)

Davies, Major George (Yeovil)

Dennison, Mr. (King's Norton)

*Dixon, Mr. (Belfast, East)

*Dunnico, Mr. (Consett)

Edwards, Mr. Hugh (Accrington)

Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)

Fairfax, Captain (Norwich)

Falle, Major Sir Bertram (Portsmouth, North)

*Falls, Sir Charles (Fermanagh and Tyrone)

Grenfell, Mr. David (Gower)

Grotrian, Mr. (Kingston-upon-Hull)

Gunston, Captain (Thornbury)

Hall, Captain W. D'Arcy (Brecon and Radnor)

Hartington, Marquess of (Derbyshire, West)

Henderson, Lieut.-Colonel V. L. (Bootle)

Hirst, Mr. W. (Bradford, South)

Hudson, Mr. Robert (Whitehaven)

*John, Mr. (Rhondda, West)

*Joynson-Hicks, Sir W. (Twickenham)

Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander (Hull, Central)

*M'Connell, Mr. (Belfast, North)

Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)

*Macnaghten, Sir Malcolm (Londonderry)

Makins, Brigadier-General (Knutsford)

March, Mr. (Poplar, South)

*Maxton, Mr. (Bridgeton)

Milne, Mr. Wardlaw- (Kidderminster)

*Moles, Mr. (Belfast, South)

Morrison, Mr. Hugh (Salisbury)

Nuttall, Mr. (Birkenhead, West)

*Owen, Major (Carnarvon)

*Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)

Peto, Mr. Basil (Barnstaple)

*Reid, Mr. David (Down)

Sandeman, Mr. (Middleton and Prestwich)

Scurr, Mr. (Mile End)

Simms, Mr. (Down)

Smith, Mr. Rennie (Penistone)

Smithers, Mr. (Chislehurst)

Somerville, Mr. Annesley (Windsor)

Taylor, Mr. (Lincoln)

Thompson, Mr. Luke (Sunderland)

Tinne, Mr. (Wavertree)

Waddington, Mr. (Rossendale)

Ward, Lieut.-Colonel John (Stoke-on-Trent)

Warner, Brigadier-General (Bedford, Mid)

Watson, Sir Francis (Pudsey and Otley)

Watts, Dr. (Withington)

Williams, Commander Charles (Torquay)

Williams, Mr. John (Carmarthenshire)

* Added in respect of the Northern Ireland Land Bill.

MR. COLOMB. Committee Clerks.

MR. EDENBOROUGH. Committee Clerks.

4
5 STANDING COMMITTEE A Thursday, 5th March, 1925.

[Sir ROBERT SANDERS in the Chair.]

NORTHERN IRELAND LAND BILL.
[OFFICIAL REPORT.]

The CLERK (Mr. Colomb) read the Resolution of the House of 24th February, 1925, as followeth: "That, for carrying out the provisions of any Act of the present Session to amend the Law relating to the occupation and ownership of land in Northern Ireland, it is expedient—

  • to authorise the creation of guaranteed four-and-a-half per cent. bonds for raising any money required for the Irish Land Purchase Fund (including the Land Purchase Aid Fund), and to charge on the Consolidated Fund, in certain contingencies, the payment of the interest on such bonds; and
  • to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of certain sums payable by the Land Purchase Commission (Northern Ireland), if and so far as the receipts of the said Commission may be insufficient for the purpose."
  • Clauses 1 (Alteration of rate of purchase annuity, &c), 2 (Power to create guaranteed four-and-a-half per cent. bonds), 3 (Advances to be made in bonds), 4 (Provisions as to bonus), 5 (Amendment of financial provisions), 6 (Recovery of money, &c, paid in mistake), and 7 (Power to make rules), ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 8.
    —(Vesting of unpurchased tenanted land in the Commission.)

    (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, and notwithstanding anything in Section nine of the Act of 1903, all tenanted land in Northern Ireland shall on the appointed day, by virtue of this Part of this Act vest in the Commission in the like manner and with the like consequences as if vesting orders had been made on the appointed day in respect thereof under Section sixteen of the Act of 1903, in pursuance of new purchase agreements for the purchase of the same at the standard price entered into on 6 the appointed day by the Commission with persons having power to sell under the Land Purchase Acts.

    (2) A purchase agreement deemed to have been entered into for the purposes of this Section shall be deemed to have been entered into with the owner of the interest of the immediate landlord where that interest is sufficient to constitute the owner thereof a person having power to sell under the Land Purchase Acts, and, where that interest is not sufficient, to have been entered into with the owner of the interest of the next superior landlord whose interest is sufficient.

    (3) This Section shall not apply to—

  • any land which has been purchased under the Land Purchase Acts or is on the appointed day the subject of an actual purchase agreement thereunder; or
  • any holding which is not substantially agricultural or pastoral or partly agricultural and partly pastoral in character, or any holding the main object of the letting of which was for a residence; or
  • any holding usually occupied by a person regularly employed on a demesne, home farm, park, garden, or pleasure ground belonging to the landlord; or
  • any holding which, in the opinion of the Commission, possesses a substantial value or utility whether potential or actual as building ground or is a town park; or
  • any land which is vested in or held in trust for His Majesty; or
  • any land which is held, whether as landlords or tenants, by any Government Department, or by any local or public authority for the purposes of their powers and duties as such authority, or by any corporation or company for the purposes of a railway, dock, canal, water, or other public undertaking.
  • The CHAIRMAN: Does the hon. and gallant Member propose to move his Amendment to leave out Sub-section (1)?

    Captain BOURNE: I do not propose to move that Amendment.

    The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Lord Eustace Percy): I beg to move, in Sub-section (3) (d), to leave out the words "in the opinion of the Commission." In moving this Amendment, may I say that all the Amendments on the Paper in the name of the Home Secretary are agreed between landlord and tenant? The object of leaving out these words is simply to allow an appeal to the Courts in regard to the question whether a holding possesses substantial building value.

    7

    Amendment agreed to.

    Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

    Captain BOURNE: I think we should have some explanation from the Government as to the exact effect of this Clause. As far as I can read it, the effect will be that on the appointed day the agricultural land at present let in Northern Ireland will vest in the Commissioners, with certain exceptions as to letting leases and other leases covered under Clause 18. I do not know whether my interpretation is correct, but we ought to have some explanation of what will be the effect. If my view is right, the Act will cause very large changes in the land system of Northern Ireland, and it will also involve large sums guaranteed by the British Treasury.

    Lord E. PERCY: The effect of the Clause is simply this: that the remaining tenant land, with certain exceptions named in the Bill, will automatically vest in the Commission on the appointed day, which may be different for different parts of the country. In other words, it automatically makes land purchase compulsory. That is a proposal which has been urged by both landlords and tenants, and it was agreed to by a sub-committee of the Irish Convention in 1918. It means, probably, the transfer of something in the neighbourhood of 1,000,000 acres, but two-thirds of the land has already been purchased, and the total liability, in the sense of annual liability, that the British Government incurs, is the liability of guaranteeing the amount of the stock issued. The total stock issued will not, I think, exceed £8,000,000.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 9 (Standard price), and 10 (Interest on bonus in respect of land so vested), ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 11.
    —(Payment of interest and rent.)

    (1) The rent due on the gale day last preceding the appointed day, together with any arrears of rent then due (other than arrears which accrued due on a gale day prior to the passing of this Act) may, if not paid on or before the appointed day be recovered after the appointed day by the person entitled thereto notwithstanding that the hold- 8 ing has vested in the Commission, but no arrears shall be paid out of the purchase money.

    (2) Interest on the purchase money at the rate of four-and-a-half per cent. per annum shall be payable as from the gale day last preceding the appointed day up to the date from which interest commences to accrue on the bonds representing the purchase money. Interest so payable shall be paid at such time or times as may be prescribed by rules under Part I. of this Act, and shall be treated as interest payable under Sub-section (2) of section eighteen of the Act of 1903. The bonds shall be placed to credit not later than the interest day next succeeding the appointed day, and the placing of the bonds to credit shall operate as an investment of the purchase money under Section twenty-six of the Act of 1909 as from the date from which interest commences to accrue on the bonds.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words, "not later than the interest day next succeeding the appointed day," and to insert instead thereof the words "on such date as the Treasury may, by rules made under Part I of this Act, prescribe; and that date shall be the date of the commencement of the purchase annuity." At the present time the Bill provides that money can be placed to the credit of the landlord on the appointed day, that is to say, on the day that the land vests. We provide by another Clause, agreed on between landlord and tenant, that there shall be in certain circumstances a refund to the tenant of the last half-year's rent. Consequently, the whole of the purchase money may not become due to the landlord, because deduction will have to be made of a half-year's rent. This Amendment simply provides that the money shall be credited to the landlord on such date as the Treasury may, by rule, appoint.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 12 (Previsions as to resale of holdings vested in the Commission), 13 (Sub-tenants), 14 (Sporting rights) and 15 (Mineral rights), ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 16.
    —(Ascertainment of land to be vested in Commission.)

    (1) It shall be the duty of every person who is entitled to the rents and profits of any land or who receives such rents and profits on behalf of any other person, or who has in his possession or custody any deeds or other documents relating to such land, 9 rents, or profits, if so required by the Commission, to furnish in writing to the Commission, such information, maps, particulars, and documents, with respect to the land in such form and verified in such manner and within such time as the Commission may by a general or special notice require.

    (2) The Commission shall from time to time publish provisional lists of the land which will so become vested in the Commission on the appointed day, together with notice of the manner in which and the time within which objections may be made to the list by reason of the inclusion or non-inclusion therein of any land, and shall publish such other notices as may be required by rules made under this Act.

    (3) The Commission shall consider and adjudicate upon any objections duly made and an appeal shall lie from any decision of the Commission on such objection to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, and the decision of the Court of Appeal shall be final.

    (4) The Commission shall publish a final list of land with respect to which no objection has been made, and from time to time as and when objections to other lands have been finally settled, final lists giving effect to the results of the settlements. A final list when so published, whether before or after the appointed day, shall be conclusive evidence that the lands comprised therein will become or have become vested by virtue of this Part of this Act on the appointed day.

    (5) The Commission shall have power to require any person paying rent to any other person to give such particulars with respect to the land as they may require.

    (6) If any person fails to furnish any information, map, particular, or document, which he is required to furnish under this section or knowingly furnishes any information, map, particular, or document, which is false in any material particular, he shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, and where any information, map, particular, or document, required by this section to be given by or on behalf of a person entitled to the rents and profits of any land is not given within the time required by the Commission no bonus or interest thereon shall be payable in respect of the land unless the Commission consider that the failure ought to be excused.

    (7) Any inspector or other person acting on behalf of the Commission, may after notice sent by post to the person who appears to be occupier of any land, enter upon the land and make all such enquiries as may be necessary to enable the Commission to ascertain the extent and character thereof, and such other particulars in relation thereto, as they may require for the purposes of this section.

    (8) Where duties under this section are performed on behalf of the owner of any land by any land agent, solicitor, engineer, surveyor, valuer or land cleric nominated with the approval of the Commission he may be remunerated at a fixed amount or scale to 10 be settled by the Commission with the assent of the Treasury, and such amount or percentage shall be paid out of the purchase money as part of the costs connected with the sale.

    (9) Any notice or list required to be published under this section shall be published in the "Belfast Gazette" and in such other manner as the Commission consider best adapted for securing publicity.

    Amendments made: In Sub-section (2), leave out the word "so" ["will so become vested"].

    After the word "day" ["appointed day"], insert the words "by virtue of this Part of this Act."—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (4), to leave out the words "a final list," and to insert instead thereof the words "final lists." This Amendment is inserted in order that the appointed day may be different for different parts of the country.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (6), after the word "unless" ["unless the Commission consider"], to insert the words "or except to such extent as." This Amendment removes what, I think, is a blot on the present provision, namely, that if a landlord be negligent in furnishing information, he may lose his bonus. There seems to be no half-way house between making him forfeit the whole of the bonus or paying the whole of the bonus to him. This Amendment enables the Commission to put a penalty on the landlord, not to the full extent of forfeiting the whole extent of his bonus, but to such extent as may appear just.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 17 (Persons under disability), 18 (Definition of tenanted land), 19 (Purchase and resale of demesne, etc.), and 20 (Adaptation of land purchase enactments and removal of difficulties), ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 21.
    —(Abolition of power to fix judicial rents.)

    After the passing of this Act a judicial rent shall not be fixed under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts in respect of any holding, but nothing in this provision shall prevent the filing after the passing of this Act of agreements fixing fair rents entered into before 11 the sixteenth day of December, nineteen hundred and twenty-four, or the operation of such agreements, when filed, or the making of rules in relation to such agreements, or the fixing of a fair rent after the passing of this Act in pursuance of an application made before the said date.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, at the end, to add "(2) Where a holding has been excluded from vesting in the Commission under Part II of this Act by reason that it possesses a substantial value or utility (whether potential or actual) as building ground, and the holding is subject to a first-term judicial rent, the court shall have the like power of authorising the resumption thereof as if the holding had been subject to a second-term judicial rent. Provided that nothing in this provision affects any power of obtaining possession of any holding held at a non-judicial rent." This, I am afraid, is rather a complicated matter, but it is a very small point. Under the Land Law (Ireland) Act of 1881, the Court may, in the case of a holding subject to judicial rent, authorise the landlord to resume possession of the holding if it is required by him for use, among other things, as building land, the Order being made on such terms as the Court may choose. But the Irish Courts have decided that this provision is not applicable unless the judicial rent has been fixed for a second or subsequent statutory term. As it is proposed by Clause 21 to prohibit the fixing of a judicial rent in future, because the reason for that will have gone, as the land will have been compulsorily purchased, there will be no power to resume possession for building purposes of land subject to a first term judicial rent. The landlord has not any longer the choice of getting his first term judicial rent refixed, so that it would become a third term judicial rent. The object of the Amendment is to remove this obvious anomaly.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, after the last inserted Amendment, to add "(3) The Redemption of Rent (Ireland) Act, 1891, shall continue to have effect so as to enable proceedings to be taken for the redemption of the rent of any holding to which that Act applies, but no consent of the lessor or grantor shall be required in order to enable such rent to be redeemed, and accordingly Section 1 of that Act shall have effect—

  • as if the words 'if the lessor or grantor, as the case may be, signifies his consent within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, 12 including consent (where such consent is by law required) to such sum being retained as guarantee deposit as the Land Commission may think necessary then' were omitted therefrom;
  • as if for the provisions of that section commending, 'Such consent by the lessor or grantor,' to the end of the section, there were substituted the following provision:—
  • If the Commission certify that an application for redemption of rent is one to which this section applies, the application shall have the same effect as the lodgment of a new purchase agreement."
  • This Amendment is required in order to cover the fact that the fixing of judicial rents is to be discontinued in future. In the event of a question arising on the redemption of rent under the Act of 1891, the tenant and the Land Commission have an alternative. If the landlord consents to redemption, the thing goes forward, but if he does not consent, the redemption has not to be made, and a judicial rent may be fixed. As that will be no longer possible, it is now proposed by this provision, agreed on by landlord and tenant, that the consent of the landlord shall not be required before the Court makes its Order.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 22 (Repeal of Section 16 of Act of 1909) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 23.
    —(Acquisition of untenanted land.)

    (1) The powers of the Commission to purchase untenanted land by agreement or compulsorily under Section 43 or Part IV of the Act of 1909, shall be extended so as to authorise the purchase by them of any untenanted land the sale and redistribution of which is, in their opinion, desirable for the purpose of facilitating the resale of tenanted land vested in them by virtue of Part II of this Act and the purchase by them of any untenanted bog required for the purpose of providing turbary for occupiers of land in the neighbourhood, whether such bog is or is not subject to rights of turbary.

    (2) Where the Commission propose to acquire compulsorily any untenanted land in respect of which a final offer has been sent by them under Section forty-three of the Act of 1909 and has not been accepted in manner provided by that section, then, if the land is or was part of an estate and is required for the purpose of enlarging or 13 improving congested holdings which form or formed part of the same estate, Part IV of the Act of 1909 in its application to the proceedings for the acquisition of the land shall have effect with the modification that in fixing the price to be paid for the land regard shall be had to the fair value thereof as well to the Commission as to the owner.

    (3) The power of the Commission to purchase untenanted land compulsorily, whether under Part IV of the Act of 1909 or this section, shall not extend to any untenanted land which is held by the occupier thereof under a fee farm grant, or lease for lives or years renewable for ever, or lease for a term of years renewable for ever, and is used by him as an ordinary farm.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "them" ["purchased by them"], to insert the words "subject to the conditions imposed by that Act." This Amendment is to remove a doubt. The landlords were afraid that this Act would exclude a power, which they have under the Act of 1909, to enable them to make application to the judicial commissioners to restrain the compulsory acquisition of land. This Amendment is intended to remove any possible doubt that that course is still open to the landlord.

    Mr. MAXTON: There is one point which I should like to raise, as to the right of the tenant and smallholder to cut turf for fuel purposes. It seems to me that by Clause 23 that question is raised, and it is defined by Clause 24. If the Minister would give some explanation of the position, it would save trouble on the latter Clause. It seems to me that this is taking away from a smallholder the right to cut turf freely from a large area, and his right to free fuel, which is a very important item in the smallholder's expenditure, may be taken, away from him completely without any consideration being shown, or very strictly limited. This is a thing which I would not like to happen.

    Lord E. PERCY: I am very glad to reply to the hon. Member. I do not blame him for not being acquainted with the complicated question of turbary. These Clauses, so far from removing anything from the tenant, are specifically devised for giving him greater benefits than he has at present. The matter was dealt with fully in the Report of the Commission, of which I was Chairman, on page 19 of the Report. The point is 14 that the Commission has power under the Act of 1903, which it retains under this Act, to define the rights of a tenant over a bog, and where the tenant has a traditional right, an actual right, over the bog, then the Commission can define what those rights are, and perpetuate to the tenant those rights, no matter how the land may now be disposed of.

    Mr. MARCH: And the Commission may take it away?

    Lord E. PERCY: No. The Commission is acting in a judicial capacity, and there is an appeal from its decision. The only object is to safeguard a tenant, for instance, who has already purchased, who has rights of cutting turf over an adjoining bog, which is unpurchased and is going to be purchased under this Act. The Commission has power to define the rights of that man, so as to make sure that he will retain those rights when the Act passes. But these Clauses are designed more particularly to envisage a new case brought before us by certain tenants. There are a great many cases in which the tenants have not got any traditional immemorial rights over the bog, but have rights over the bog, which are necessary to them, which the landlord has granted to them, on terms which the landlord thought right, on payment of a licence fee and so on. In that case, the Commission would have had no power to perpetuate the rights under the existing Acts. This gives the Commission power in those cases to acquire bog which is necessary to adjoining tenants for the continued exercise of those tenants' rights. This is a thing which has been pressed for very much by the tenants, and I think that it safeguards them.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, to leave out Sub-section (2), and to insert instead thereof a new Sub-section— (2) Where for the purpose of enlarging or improving congested holdings the Commission propose to acquire compulsorily any untenanted land (whether under Part IV of the Act of 1909 or this section) and the price has, under Section sixty-three of the Act of 1909, been fixed by the Judge of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland appointed to act as Judicial Commissioner, the Commission may, if they consider that the price so fixed is so high as to make the acquisition of the land for the purpose aforesaid inexpedient, on serving such notice within such time as may be prescribed, withdraw from the purchase, subject to the 15 payment to the other parties to the proceedings before that judge of such compensation for any loss or expenses which they may have suffered or incurred in or in consequence of the proceedings as the judge may determine. I am afraid that this is rather a complicated point. This new Sub-section is in substitution for the existing Sub-section. This Sub-section provides that where the Land Commission proposed to acquire compulsorily any untenanted land, and that land is, or was, part of an estate which is required for the purpose of enlarging or improving congested holdings which form part of this same estate, which is the main object for which untenanted land will be acquired by the Commission compulsorily, the tribunal fixing the price of that land so compulsorily purchased is to have regard not only to the value of the land to the owner, but also to the value of the land to the Commission. The object of that was that where the Commission goes to arbitration, and gets the price of the land fixed, it will not have to pay the price of the land fixed on the value of the land to the landlord, because the Commission might not wish to pay so high a price, and therefore, in adjudicating, the value of the land to the Commission is taken into account. The landlords raised a strong objection to that, I think fairly justifiably, and therefore we have agreed to this Amendment, which will give the Commission power, which it had not previously, after the fixing of compensation, to say "No, we will retire from the suggested transaction altogether." When the price is too high, the Commission will have power to withdraw altogether from the purchase.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), after the word "thereof," to insert the words "in fee simple or." This point is a comparatively small one. It was represented to us on the so-called Percy Commission by the landlords that untenanted land, which would be subject to compulsory acquisition by the Commission, might be held under various forms of tenure familiar in Northern Ireland—fee farm grant, lease for lives renewable for ever, and so on, and in the case of a bona fide farm, this Clause enables that land to be exempt from compulsory purchase. But we have omitted one case 16 which would have seemed to be the most obvious. That is where the land is held in fee simple. This is merely to cover that particular case.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further amendment made: In Sub-section (3), leave out the words "renewable for ever," and insert instead thereof the words "of which sixty or more are unexpired."—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 24 (Regulations as to turbary), 25 (Provision for the maintenance of watercourses, drains, and similar works), 26 (Appointment of person to represent tenant for purposes of sale), and 27 (Power to appoint solicitors, etc., to act in place of a person in default), ordered to Stand Part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 28.
    —(Amendment of provisions as to sub-division, letting or mortgaging of purchased holdings.)

    (1) Any attempted sub-division or letting of a holding, in contravention of Section thirty of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881, or Section fifty-four of the Act of 1903 shall be void.

    (2) In Sub-section (3) of Section fifty-four of the Act of 1903 (which, imposes restrictions on mortgaging) twenty times the amount of the purchase annuity shall be substituted for ten times the amount of the purchase annuity.

    (3) Where the Commission or the Ministry of Finance for Northern Ireland, in the exercise of their respective powers, authorise the sub-division of a holding which is subject to a purchase annuity and apportion the purchase annuity, then, any part of the holding upon which portion of the purchase annuity is charged shall, if the Commission or Ministry with the consent of the registered proprietor of the holding so direct, be deemed to be consolidated with any other holding of which he is the registered proprietor and which is subject to a purchase annuity, and that annuity and the said portion shall be payable in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move in Sub-section (2), to leave out the word "In" ["In Sub-section (3)"]. This is an Amendment which relieves the tenant purchaser of land from the present restriction that he may not mortgage the land for any sum exceeding in the aggregate 10 times the amount of the purchase annuity. We propose under this Bill to extend that to 20 times the purchase annuity, but the tenants are 17 very strong on having a greater latitude in borrowing money on mortgage, and they pointed out, which is perfectly true, that they had succeeded in getting out of the present law and borrowing money on mortgage in various indirect ways. Therefore, we have agreed with the Government of Northern Ireland, and with the landlords and tenants, that we shall remove altogether the restriction on the tenants borrowing.

    Sir CHARLES FALLS: Does the Amendment, as it stands, remove all restrictions?

    Lord E. PERCY: It does.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made: In Sub-section (2) leave out the words "twenty times the amount of the purchase annuity shall be substituted for ten times the amount of the purchase annuity." and insert instead thereof the words "shall cease to have effect as respects any holding."—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 29 (Provision as to registration of land purchased under Acts), 30 (Power to make rules, 31 (Interpretation), 32 (Appointed day), 33 (Short title and construction), ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    NEW CLAUSE.
    —Provision for remission of half-year's interest.)

    For the purpose of providing for the remission to tenants of holdings vested in the Commission by virtue of this Part of this Act of one-half year's rent thereof the following provisions shall have effect:—

  • subject to the provisions of paragraph. (b) of this Section, there shall, in accordance with rules made by the Treasury under Part I of this Act, be deducted from the interest payable by the tenant under Section thirty-five of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1896, such an amount as is equal to the half-year's rent due on the gale day last preceding the appointed day; and there shall be similarly deducted from the interest payable to the person to whom interest is payable under Sub-section (2) of Section eighteen of the Act of 1903 a corresponding amount, Provided that the Commission shall pay to such last-mentioned person or as he may direct one-half of the amount so deducted from the interest payable to him;
  • where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commission that the tenant 18 has not before the appointed day paid the half-year's rent due on the gale day last preceding the appointed day, then paragraph (a) shall not apply, but the said half-year's rent shall not be payable, and all liability for payment thereof by the tenant shall be extinguished and there shall be paid by the Commission to the person who but for this paragraph would have been entitled to receive such rent an amount equal to one-half of the rent so remitted;
  • any payments made by the Commission under this Section shall be treated as part of the expenses of the Commission.—[Lord E. Percy.]
  • Brought up, and read the First time.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time." This is a Clause to be inserted after Clause 12 to carry out an arrangement made at the request of the tenants. It is provided that the last half-year's rent shall be deducted from the purchase price. Two contingencies have to be provided for. One is the case in which the tenant has not paid the last half-year's rent. The position then is simple. But in cases in which the tenant has already paid a refund has to be made, and this new Clause provides for that refund.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

    NEW CLAUSE.
    —(Sub-division of holdings containing building ground.)

    (1) Where an objection is made to any such provisional list as aforesaid by reason of the inclusion or non-inclusion in the list of a holding, then, if the Commission consider that the holding ought to be included in the list but for the fact that it possesses a substantial value or utility as building ground, and that that value or utility is attributable to a distinct and substantive part of the holding, the Commission may by order direct that the holding shall be sub-divided, and that that part of the holding and the remainder of the holding shall become separate holdings, and that the one shall not be and the other shall be included in the list, and may apportion between such separate holdings the rent payable in respect of the entire holding.

    (2) The portion of the rent so apportioned to each part of the holding shall be treated as first, second, or third-term judicial rent or as a non-judicial rent, according to the character of the rent payable in respect of the entire holding, and each separate holding shall be held by the like tenure and upon the like terms and conditions as those by and upon which the entire holding was held, subject to such modifications and adjustments, if any, as may appear to the Commission to be necessary or proper.

    19

    (3) The powers of the Commission under the foregoing provisions of this section may be exercised by the Court of Appeal on an appeal from a decision of the Commission on any such objection to a provisional list, and the Court of Appeal may, where their decision necessitates an apportionment or an alteration of an apportionment made by the Commission, refer the case back to the Commission for the making of the apportionment required.—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time." The object of this Clause is to remove a new anomaly. It is provided in all previous Land Acts, that land which has a building value, potential or actual, shall be excluded from purchase. But there was no provision for splitting up a holding into a part which had a potential or actual building value, and a part which had not. Such splitting up was not necessary in the days of voluntary purchase. Of course, now, when we are making purchase compulsory, it is obvious that it will facilitate the provisions of the Bill enormously if the Commission has power to split up a holding, and exclude from the purchase that portion which has a building value potential or actual. This Clause gives that power.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

    NEW CLAUSE.
    —(Provisions as to the ascertainment of title and distribution of purchase money.)

    (1) Where the Commission for the purpose of the ascertainment of title to or distribution of purchase money require any searches to be made in the registry of deeds in Dublin, or in the registry of judgments in Dublin, the searches shall be made without charge to the persons entitled to the purchase money, and the costs thereof (if any) shall be borne as an expense of the Commission.

    (2) The Commission shall not for the purpose of an investigation of title to or distribution of purchase money require proof of payment of any estate duty, legacy duty, succession duty, settlement estate duty, probate duty, account duty, or temporary estate duty, if the event which gave rise to an immediate claim to such duty happened more than twelve years before the date of the investigation, without prejudice, however, to the liability of any accountable person to the payment of duty.—[Lord E. Percy.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time." 20 This Amendment is necessitated by the recent change in the constitution of Ireland. It was always the principle that researches made for the ascertainment of title for the purpose of the Commission, should be paid for by the Commission, and should not fall on the landlord; that is to say, should be made without charge. That continues in regards researches in Northern Ireland. But many of these researches will have to be carried out in Dublin, where fees will continue to be charged, and this new Clause enables the Commission to bear the cost of such researches made for this purpose. Sub-section (2) of this new Clause arises from the fact that, owing to the burning of the Four Courts in Dublin mainly, researches as to title, back payment of death duties and so on may be impossible to carry out. This Sub-section (2) provides that where it is impossible to carry out these researches, doubts as to the previous payments of duty shall not prevent the transfer of the land.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

    First and Second Schedules agreed to.

    THIRD SCHEDULE.
    STANDARD PURCHASE ANNUITY.
    PART I.
    HOLDINGS SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL RENTS.

    1. The standard purchase annuity shall, in the case of each holding, be an annuity of an amount equivalent to a percentage of the judicial rent payable in respect of the holding.

    2. The appropriate percentage in the case of each holding shall be the percentage specified in the following table for the county in which the holding is situated and for judicial rents of the same class as the judicial rent which is payable in respect of the holding, according as it is a first term, second term, or third term judicial rent: Provided that where the said rent is a third term judicial rent and the holding was previously subject to a second term judicial rent, the holding shall be treated as if no third term rent had been fixed and it were still subject to the second term rent in any case where the standard purchase annuity calculated on that basis would be less than if calculated on the basis of the third term rent.

    3. A holding which is situated in two or more counties or in a county borough or partly in a county borough and partly in one or more counties shall, for the purposes of this Schedule, be deemed to be situated in such county as the Commission may determine.

    21

    PERCENTAGE.
    County. First Term Judicial Rents, i.e., fixed before the 16th August, 1896. Second Term Judicial Rents, i.e., fixed between the 15th August, 1896, and the 16th August, 1911. Third Term Judicial Rents, i.e., fixed after the 15th August, 1911.
    Antrim 71·5 82·6 88·4
    Armagh 70·2 81·0 87·3
    Down 71·2 82·3 88·2
    Fermanagh 70·2 79·3 86·2
    Londonderry 74·1 86·3 89·1
    Tyrone 72·8 82·3 88·2

    PART II.
    HOLDINGS SUBJECT TO RENTS OTHER THAN JUDICIAL RENTS.

    1. The rent of a holding to which this Part of this Schedule applies shall, for the purposes of this Schedule, be treated as if it were a second term judicial rent unless an objection is made by the landlord or the tenant in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time, and, in the absence of any such objection, the standard purchase annuity in the case of the holding shall be a percentage of the actual rent and shall be ascertained in accordance with Part I of this Schedule.

    2. If any objection is made as aforesaid, the Commission, shall fix an annual sum in respect of the holding, and the standard purchase annuity shall be a percentage of that annual sum and shall be ascertained in accordance with Part I of this Schedule as if such annual sum were a third term judicial rent.

    3. The annual sum to be fixed by the Commission as aforesaid shall be fixed by the Commission upon the same principles as a judicial rent after receiving the report of their inspector, but without a hearing in court, and their determination shall be subject to appeal to the Judicial Commissioner.

    Provided that where a holding or part of a holding is of such a character that an annual sum fixed on the principles applicable to a judicial rent would be inappropriate as a basis of price, the Commission in fixing the annual sum shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the interests of the parties and the respective values thereof.

    4. The procedure on an appeal under the foregoing paragraph shall, subject to rules to be made under this Act, be similar to the procedure on appeals from a Sub-Commission under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts and the rules may provide for the Judicial Commissioner being assisted by a lay assessor and may prescribe the powers and duties of such assessor.

    5. The standard price calculated on the basis of an annual sum so fixed by the Commission shall be taken as the purchase money for the purpose of the calculation and payment of interest under this Act, notwithstanding that an appeal is pending as 22 to the annual sum, but any payments so calculated shall be the subject of adjustment when the price is finally fixed.

    6. This Part of this Schedule applies to every holding which (a) at the date of the passing of this Act is subject to a rent other than a judicial rent, and (b) vests, or will vest, as tenanted land in the Commission by virtue of Part II of this Act:

    Provided that where an agreement has been made fixing the fair rent of a holding under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts, that rent shall not be deemed to be a judicial rent for the purposes of this Act, unless the agreement was entered into before the sixteenth day of December, 1924, and has been duly filed in accordance with the rules for the time being in force under those Acts.

    Lord E. PERCY: I beg to move, in Part II, paragraph 3, after the word "character," to insert the words "or the tenancy was created at such a time or in such circumstances." This Amendment is to deal with certain exceptional circumstances. Where a judicial rent has been fixed, that rent is taken for the purpose of fixing the purchase price of the land, and a certain percentage reduction is made from it. Where no duty for rent has been fixed, it is provided that such cases shall be treated as if a judicial rent, I think a second term judicial rent, had been fixed for them. But there do remain cases which will have to be specially dealt with, and the Irish Convention of 1918 recognised that there were such exceptional cases. This Amendment is to provide greater elasticity in fixing what the hypothetical fair rent is. The general rule is that it is to be fixed on the ordinary principles on which fair rents are fixed under the Land Law (Ireland) Acts. Take an exceptional case, where a holding has been let to an old servant at a nominal rent, or where a lease for a long term of years, having almost run out, is granted for what in Ireland is called a fine. In such 23 a case greater elasticity ought to be provided, and this Amendment proposes to do it.

    Sir C. FALLS: Does the Amendment apply to future tenancies where a fair rent has been fixed?

    Lord E. PERCY: No, it does not. It applies to a tenancy, already existing, where the rent has to be fixed for the purpose of transfer.

    Sir C. FALLS: I use the words "future tenancy" as the expression in the Act of 1881. That was, where the tenancy was created after the Act of 1881 the tenant was not entitled to get a fair rent fixed.

    24

    Lord E. PERCY: He will not be able to get a fair rent fixed, because judicial rents cease to be fixed under this Bill. In the case where, between the passing of this Act and the appointed day, some new lease has been effected at a non-judicial rent, this Amendment will allow greater elasticity in reducing that to the terms of a fair rent. That is all that the Amendment does.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

    Bill, as amended, ordered to be Reported to the House.

    The Committee rose at Twenty-five Minutes before Twelve o'Clock.

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

    Sanders, Sir Robert (Chairman)

    Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel

    Beamish, Rear-Admiral

    Beckett, Mr. John

    Bourne, Captain

    Briggs, Mr.

    Brown, Major Clifton

    Clayton, Mr.

    Cluse, Mr.

    Craig, Captain Charles

    Craig, Mr. Ernest

    Dennison, Mr.

    Fairfax, Captain

    Falls, Sir Charles

    Grenfell, Mr. David

    Gunston, Captain

    Hall, Captain W. D'Arcy

    Henderson, Lieut.-Colonel V. L.

    Hirst, Mr. W.

    Hudson, Mr. Robert

    John, Mr.

    M'Connell, Mr.

    Makins, Brigadier-General

    March, Mr.

    Maxton, Mr.

    Moles, Mr.

    Morrison, Mr. Hugh

    Nuttall, Mr.

    Percy, Lord Eustace

    Reid, Mr. David

    Sandeman, Mr.

    Simms, Mr.

    Smithers, Mr.

    Somerville, Mr. Annesley

    Taylor, Mr.

    Thompson, Mr. Luke

    Tinne, Mr.

    Waddington, Mr.

    Warner, Brigadier-General

    Watts, Dr.

    Williams, Commander Charles