HC Deb 17 May 1916 vol 82 cc1536-7

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he is aware that in the distribution of Flynn's Farm, in the Brosna district of county Kerry, parcels of land have been granted by the Congested Districts Board to persons who are already in possession of considerable farms, while claims made on behalf of the only three men in the district who have enlisted in the Army have been ignored; and if he will represent to the Congested Districts Board that in this and other cases a preference should be given to men who have served with His Majesty's Forces during the War? May I also ask what Minister is responsible for answering questions in relation to Ireland during the absence of the Prime Minister?


The Prime Minister has requested me, during the vacancy in the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland, to answer any urgent questions relating to Ireland. The Congested Districts Board state that they cannot supply this information unless further particulars are given as to the name of the estate, the name of the late tenant of the divided farm, and the names of the persons who state that their claims for land were not acceded to, though members of their families are on military service.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state what makes this question more urgent than the questions of earlier date to which no reply has been given?


As a number of my questions are postponed, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will kindly suggest to the Prime Minister that while he remains in Ireland he should visit Cork, as he has visited Belfast, and that he should inquire for himself as to the actual state of things in order to prevent misunderstandings? That course would enable us to get rid of ever so many questions which we have no desire to go on asking.


The questions postponed are questions which would be more properly put to the War Office, as they relate to military matters I have no doubt that the Prime Minister will make himself familiar with the state of affairs in all parts of Ireland, and he will go where he thinks that circumstances make it desirable that he should go.


Will the right hon. Gentleman kindly submit my suggestion to the Prime Minister?


Yes, Sir.