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Dunraven's Views on the Land Purchase Act: A Pragmatic Perspective |

Dunraven’s Views on the Land Purchase Act: A Pragmatic Perspective

Responding to criticism of his recent speech at the Limerick County Council, Lord Dunraven, renowned for his stance on land issues, expressed his support for the Land Purchase Act. In his statement, Lord Dunraven acknowledged that while the Act may have some shortcomings, it remains a commendable and significant piece of legislation, offering numerous advantages over previous Land Purchase Acts.

Lord Dunraven emphasized that the Act introduces unprecedented terms and conditions that have never been offered before to any group of people. He believed that if approached with a fair and friendly spirit, the Act’s advantages and disadvantages could have been addressed without friction during the conference. However, he lamented that various methods were employed to discredit the Act and create conflicts between landlords and tenants.

One particular method Lord Dunraven criticized was the attempt to establish a uniform price, which he likened to valuing all horses at £10 apiece at the Munster fair, highlighting the impracticality of such an approach. He also pointed out efforts to mislead tenants by promoting the “years’ purchase” criterion as the sole standard for judging the advantages of buying. Lord Dunraven argued that a more reliable guide for tenants would be comparing annual payments within the Act and against current rent payments.

Taking a pragmatic stance, Lord Dunraven stressed the importance for tenants to consider matters from a business and practical standpoint, focusing on the annual payments they would be responsible for. He dismissed the notion of acquiring land for free or nearly nothing, deeming it impractical and inconsistent with sound business practices. Lord Dunraven urged tenants to evaluate the advantages of purchasing the freehold by comparing the annual payments involved with those of remaining as rent payers.

Highlighting the practical advantages of land purchase, Lord Dunraven noted that with each instalment payment, the value of tenants’ interests increases—a benefit that does not apply to rent payments. Additionally, tenants who become landowners would fully reap the rewards of their own labour, safeguarding their interests from external interference.

Lord Dunraven concluded by urging tenants to approach the decision of land purchase with a practical mindset, rather than being solely driven by sentimental desires to become landowners. He emphasized that the Land Purchase Act presents tangible practical advantages that tenants should consider when making their decision.

Lord Dunraven’s perspective on the Land Purchase Act highlights its positive aspects while urging tenants to take a pragmatic approach to their decision-making process.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 21 June 1904

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