§ 31. Mr. J. P. FARRELL
asked the sum available for forestry purposes in Ireland; what progress is being made with the acquirement of bog and waste lands for planting purposes; whether a regular staff of foresters is employed at this work, and how many; and whether the department are kept informed of the destruction of trees by the police for their own inspectors?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
A sum of £6,000 has been provided in the annual Estimates of the Department for each year from 1909–10 for the purchase, by means of annuities under the Land Purchase Acts, and development of suitable areas of woodland and of lands adapted for forestry purposes comprised in estates which are being sold through the Estates Commissioners. This provision has enabled the Department to 199 purchase and undertake forestry operations at nine centres, comprising about 7,000 acres. A qualified forester and necessary labourers, etc., are employed at each of these centres. The total staff so employed consists of nine foresters, three foremen, thirty-four permanent labourers, and twenty-five temporary labourers (engaged for about three months). The Treasury have approved of advances not exceeding £25,000 in all being made from the Development Fund for the purchase of areas of bare land suitable for afforestation. No lands have yet been actually secured by means of these advances, but negotiations are practically completed in the case of two such areas comprising about 4,900 acres. Negotiations for the purchase of other afforestable lands are proceeding. With a view to the enforcement of the provisions of Section 32 (1) (b) and (2) of the Irish Land Act, 1909, the Department have made an arrangement with the Inspector-General, Royal Irish Constabulary, under which the police report to the Department all cases in which the felling of trees is observed on holdings purchased under the Land Acts.
§ 32. Mr. FARRELL
asked whether the provisions of the Act of Parliament regarding the destruction and replanting of trees are being enforced by his Department; whether his attention has lately been called to the destruction of some valuable plantations in county Longford; and what steps he is prepared to take to secure the replanting of suitable young trees to replace those cut down?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
Steps have been taken for the enforcement of Section 32 (1) (b) and (2) of the Irish Land Act, 1909, to which it is presumed the hon. Member refers. The Department are not aware of the particular plantations in county Longford referred to, but if definite details are supplied steps will be taken to ascertain whether such plantations come within the provisions of the above quoted enactment.