§ Mr. GINNELL
asked, in view of the promises given to cattle-drivers in 1907 that, if they gave a chance by desisting from their practice, Parliament would give the Estates Commissioners compulsory power to acquire and distribute grass ranches, where necessary, for the relief of congestion, and the facts that this statutory power is now left unused, the ranches left untouched, and the young landless people left no alternative but emigration, whether the Government propose to put the compulsory power in operation this season; and, if not, what method of doing it is open to the people other than that of 1907?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners have acquired over 215,000 acres of untenanted land under the voluntary provisions of the Irish Land Acts 1903–9, and the compulsory provisions of the Evicted Tenants Act, 1907, and they are in negotiation for the purchase of some additional 75,000 acres. The compulsory powers given to the Commissioners under the Act of 1909 will be enforced in such cases as the Commissioners consider it desirable to acquire the lands if the owners are unwilling to sell voluntarily.
Is the statement made in the question correct that promises were given by His Majesty's Government to these cattle drivers under certain conditions?
May I take it that the question put down by the hon. Member is incorrect in that respect?
Arising out of that, may I say to the right hon. Gentleman that I pay no attention to his insults in this House.