§ MR. GINNELL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland having regard to the fact that he was asked last May for a Royal Commission to inquire into uneconomic holdings and untenanted land in Ireland on the express condition that it should report before the end of 1906, with a view to legislation next session, can he 143 say approximately at what date the Commission appointed will report.
I would remind the hon. Member that on 18th July † he asked me whether the Royal Commission on congestion in Ireland would be required to report within the present year; and I replied that the Commission would, it was hoped, report at the earliest date at which it could do so consistently with the proper consideration of the matters referred to it. I may add that it was never contemplated that a time limit could be imposed on the very important labours of the Commission. I understand that the Commission have already held a large number of sittings, but a great deal of important evidence remains to be taken, not only from the departments concerned, but also from witnesses in the congested districts, where sittings are to be held.
§ MR. FLAVIN
The Government can take steps to prevent large tracts of untenanted land being sold back to the landlord.
The Estates Commissioners are doing their best to acquire all the untenanted lands they can.