When speaking to this amendment Deputy Enright referred to a very important point. He was instancing the case of a person signing over his holding to a son who was to be married shortly. The Deputy talked of a charge being put on the folio for the owner and his wife stipulating that they would be housed and maintained in the home by the son for the rest of their lives. As I understand it, Deputy Enright is proposing that in the event of a loan being applied for subsequently the ACC would give the full amount and only take a second charge on the holding, giving the father and mother the first charge. I was endeavouring to point out to the Deputy that, although I agree with him, I do not consider his proposal to be capable of implementation.
We had reached the stage of removing the house from the farm. Again, I find I am beating my head against a stone wall here. If a son to whom a place is being transferred applies to have it subdivided—taking the house separately from the farm—the farm is in his name then and is free of any other claim on the folio. However, it is usually provided in the transfer that the parents are to be supported; but if a son is reckless or for some other reason decides to sell the place, he cannot sell the house. But, having sold the farm, how is he to maintain his parents? On reaching 55 people are encouraged to transfer their holdings, but I cannot think of anyone in that age group who would be prepared to do this in the knowledge that, should the transferee sell the farm, there would be no income from which to maintain the parents.
I do not believe that the ACC are insisting on parents releasing their charge. I have never come across a case of this. Neither have I come across a case of the ACC insisting on a place being sold. I cannot envisage the corporation looking for a first charge and excluding the parents' rights to residence and support. If they should act in this way there would be no loans because the parents would not relinquish their rights.
Much as I would like to support the Deputy, the amendment is not practical. We must rely on the common sense of the ACC. So far as I know they are always reasonable to deal with and have no wish to sell out anybody.
Deputy Enright's amendment would seem to be in conflict with the argument put forward by Deputy Fitzpatrick. His argument was that there be no right to mortgage in the event of their being a charge on the folio, but Deputy Enright is suggesting that the ACC give a loan without having first charge on the folio. I am not a lawyer but I speak from practical experience; and my experience of the ACC is that if one approaches them for a loan and can produce the deeds of his holding, he will get the loan but the corporation will have first charge and that all other debts must be cleared. I have never heard of the corporation asking whether one's parents had a charge against the folio.
I would not wish to see a situation in which the ACC would refuse any loan because of there being a charge on a folio. Deputy Fitzpatrick differs with me on that. We are dealing with a very complicated matter about which lawyers could argue for a long time so we should be careful not to go into too much detail. I cannot see how an arrangement could be reached whereby a house could be separated from a holding as such and that a separate charge for the house be put on the folio. It is obvious that parents could not be supported by way of the house alone. If they had no charge on the farm their rights to maintenance would be nil. That is the reason why I think Deputy Enright should withdraw the amendment.