30 MAY 1925, Page 13


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] 51.14 —Your " Oversea Irishman " contributor, whose inte- resting articles you are with your usual fair-mindedness pub- lishing, misses an important point in connexion with the administration of the Irish Free State : that is, the confiscation or wholesale robbery of landlords. By the Free State Act all

landowners are bound to sell and all tenant holders are bound to purchase their holdings at from ten to twelve years' pur- chase, the value of the land being from twenty to even thirty years' purchase since the War appreciation. Meanwhile, before the compulsory sale and purchase is completed, the Irish Land Commission collect the landlord's rents, deducting 25 per cent. for doing so. Previously, no agent ever charged more than 10 per cent. for their collection. The number of Free State landlords is at least 50,000, who are thus most unjustly treated. What a basis of dishonesty upon which to establish an Irish Free State ! Previously, under the Land Act, land- lords selling to tenants were given twenty years' purchase and a " bonus," as they are the other side of the Ulster border

to-day. But that Act was enacted by upright England.--I