28 SEPTEMBER 1867, Page 2

The number of papers read before the Social Science Association

was of course amazing. Mr. Henry Dix Hutton read two of the best and most interesting, on Stein's great Prussian land reform, and on a scheme for increasing the number of small landed pro- prietors in Ireland, as the true remedy for the political disaffection of the people. The former paper, which was one of great care and research, described more completely and elaborately Stein's changes as we sketched them, now nearly a year ago, in our issue of the 17th November last ; but Mr. Hutton sketched also the system of land-rent banks, by the help of which the re- demption of the rents was chiefly effected, and which is the only part of the Prussian system that he thinks might be extended to Ireland. "The stipulated purchase-money, or capitalized amount, is advanced by the bank, and by it paid to the landlord, not in money, but in rent debentures. These are issued in amounts frdm 30s. to 150/.2 bearing interest at 4 per cent. per annum, payable half-yearly by coupons, and are transferable by delivery. They rank as State securities, furnishing a safe and lawful invest- ment for trust moneys, public and private, and in ordinary times stand at or even above par The bank advances in rent- debentures no more than twenty years' purchase, the amount which entitles the peasant to redeem his fixed rent. The bank thus obtains by receipt of this rent 5 per cent. per annum, of which 4 per cent. is applied to paying interest on the debentures. The remaining 1 per cent. forms the redemption fund, which, at compound interest, extinguishes the principal debt in forty-one years and one month. At the end of this period the peasant be- comes the absolute owner ; but he may elect to pay the bank nine-tenths only of the fixed rent—that is, 4 per cent, on the advance—which equally extinguishes the rent in fifty-six years and one month."