§ MR. SHEEHAN (Cork County, Mid.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether any labourers holding cottages and allotments of land from rural district councils have obtained advances for the purchase of 971 parcels of land, under Clause 19 of the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906; will he explain how, in case such labourers maybe declared eligible for advances from the Estates Commissioners, they are to be provided with residences and suitable farm buildings; have the Estates Commissioners the necessary power to expend money for these purposes; and, if not, will he state how Clause 19 of the Labourers Act is to be made workable.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The reply to the first part of the Question is in the negative. Applications have been received from labourers for parcels of land on estates which have not yet been sold, and these will be duly considered by the Estates Commissioners when distributing the untenanted land on such estates. The Commissioners would appear to have power, under Section 12 of the Act of 1903, to make grants for building purposes in such cases, but having regard to the limited amount of money in the Reserve Fund, and to other claims upon that fund, it does not seem probable that in the exercise of their discretion the Commissioners will be able to make grants to labourers who may receive parcels of land.