I move amendment 53:—
In page 29, before Section 49, to insert a new section as follows:—
Section 90 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, and Section 49 of the Land Act, 1931, shall be deemed to apply and to have always applied to variable rents issuing out of hereditaments situate in the County of the City of Dublin as if Section 90 of the Irish Land Act, 1903 contained a proviso to the following effect namely:—
Provided that in the case of variable rents issuing out of or charged upon hereditaments situate in the County of the City of Dublin such rents shall be varied in accordance with the average percentage of the variation of judicial rents declared by the certificate of the Land Commission to have taken place with respect to the County of Dublin.
This amendment is designed to remedy a defect in the machinery for the fixing of variable rents. I want to say as briefly as I can a few words leading up to it so as to explain its meaning. Under an Act of 1833 persons holding land from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and other bodies were entitled to get a perpetual estate in the lands they held, subject to the fee farm rent. The Act also provided that every seven years application could be made, either by the landlord or the tenant, to vary those rents. The variation was fixed—either increased or decreased—according to the average price of grain and oats for the period of seven years preceding the application. That system went on up to 1887. The average prices were published up to that time in the Dublin Gazette, and the variation was fixed by the figures as given in the Dublin Gazette. That system ceased in 1887 when the Gazette no longer published average prices. Accordingly, the Tithe Rent Charge Act of 1900 provided a new system for fixing the amounts of variable rents. It provided that they should be fixed according to the amount of judicial rents in a county during the preceding period of 15 years. This amendment is designed to provide for the case of the County of the City of Dublin. There are a number of these variable rents in the County of the City of Dublin, but there are no judicial rents in the County of the City of Dublin, and therefore the provision of the section cannot properly be made to apply— that is to say to the amount of the variation in a particular county. It is proposed, therefore, by this amendment to apply the judicial rents in County of Dublin, which is the nearest area, as the test for fixing the amount of variation in these variable rents at the present time. Some cases have arisen where these rents are payable to the Land Commission, and my information is that the Land Commission have given the proper variation to their immediate tenant, but in some of these cases the immediate tenant has a sub-tenant and has refused to give the proper variation or reduction to his sub-tenant on the ground that there is no machinery by which it can be fixed. Therefore, I am moving the amendment, the purpose of which is that the judicial rents in the County of Dublin be made applicable for the purpose of determining the variation of these variable rents in the County and City of Dublin.