HC Deb 12 February 1917 vol 90 cc256-8
31. Captain DONELAN

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), whether he is aware that allotments of an eighth of an acre are too small to be of much practical use; and whether the desirability of enlarging the size of allotments in urban districts in Ireland to a quarter of an acre will be favourably considered?


I am informed that experience has shown that an eighth of an acre is quite as much as a town labourer, after his day's work is over, can till, and that this extent of land is sufficient to provide him and his family with potatoes and other vegetables for the year. It is, therefore, not thought desirable to enlarge the size of urban allotments.


How is the town labourer supposed to till this eighth of an acre? Is he expected to till it with a spade?


I am afraid I should have to consult an expert in agriculture.

32. Captain DONELAN

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware that in some cases, urban authorities in Ireland find it difficult to acquire land suitable for allotments; and whether, with a view to meet such cases, steps will be taken to equip urban authorities in, Ireland with compulsory powers?

92. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that the Dublin Corporation Land Cultivation Committee has found it, impossible to obtain sufficient Land for allotment applicants on the south side of Dublin; and if he will make immediate arrangements for the compulsory acquirement of vacant lands in this district?

94. Mr. FIELD

asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that difficulty is experienced in obtaining sufficient land for allotments, particularly near cities and towns in Ireland; whether he will extend the English Allotments Act to Ireland, or introduce a measure of compulsion which will enable an adequate supply of land for food production?


So far as the present emergency is concerned, the Irish Executive is doing all in its power to encourage the letting of lands near towns for the purpose of allotments, and a Bill is in preparation dealing with the subject; but compulsory powers, if they were decided on, could not be taken or carried into effect in time to deal with tillage during the coming season.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that almost every public body in Ireland which has had to deal with this subject has passed resolutions asking that compulsory powers be taken?


I have heard that the policy is very popular in Ireland on this particular subject.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any assurance that the public promise of the Lord Lieutenant will be kept—namely,, that a portion of Phoenix Park will be given for tillage?


That raises another point.


On a point of Order. That is exactly my question which has not been answered—whether Phoenix Park will be put under tillage, as publicly promised by the Lord Lieutenant?