§ 7. Mr. DORIS
asked the Chief Secretary whether the Congested Districts Board have taken any steps towards distributing Knocknabola farm amongst the congested landholders on the Wright and Livingstone estates, Kilmeena, county Mayo, which have been acquired by the Board; why such distribution has been so long delayed; and will the Board now proceed with the distribution in time to enable the people to till the lands and raise crops from them in the present year?
§ Mr. DUKE
Arrangements have been made to provide three small tenants on the Wright estate, and five on the Livingstone estate, with additional land on the Knocknabola farm, subject to necessary rearrangements of old holdings. The remainder of the farm will be disposed of to migrants, as it is so situated that it cannot be distributed to the adjoining tenants. It is proposed to provide additions to the holdings of the three remaining small tenants on the Wright estate in the townland of Knockychottaun, on the adjoining Sligo estate, but this cannot be done until the estate is vested in the Board.
§ Mr. P. WHITE
asked the cause of the delay in distributing the untenanted land purchased on the Nicholson estate, 1463 Balrath, county Meath, between the uneconomic holders for whom it is intended?
§ Mr. DUKE
The Estates Commissioners have not yet acquired the lands referred to. The owner has been furnished with an estimate of the price, which has been accepted, and a formal proposal for the purchase of the lands will be issued as soon as the requirements of the Statutes as to title have been satisfied.
§ 27. Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Estates Commissioners intend to give any compensation to Mr. William D. Curtin, of Caherlevoy, Mountcollins, county Limerick, for their delay in completing the purchase of his farm of 50 acres for which they entered into negotiations to purchase over eight years ago with the view to relieving congestion on the Mahony congested estate at Mountcollins; whether he is aware that Mr. Curtin has to pay interest on a mortgage of the lands during these years which the purchase money would have cleared off; can he say if the Estates Commissioners have any similar ease on hand where, after a period of eight years since the price of this small farm was agreed upon, the transaction has not yet been completed which, if entered into between private individuals as vendor and purchaser, would have been completed within at least a month from signing the conditions of sale; and will he explain the cause of the delay in this case?
§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
Are the right hon. Gentlemen and the Commissioners going to do anything even now so that these people may know what portion of the land they are going to get so that they may till it this year?
§ 29. Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Congested Districts Board have compulsory powers to acquire tenanted and untenanted lands in congested areas of 1464 Ireland; whether he is aware that the attention of the Board has on several occasions been called to the estate of Mr. Eyre Stock, at Ballyconry and Meyvoo, North Kerry; whether he is aware of the number of small holdings in the immediate district; and if he will say why, seeing that the Congested Districts Board has compulsory purchase powers, this estate, which contains about 300 acres of untenanted and uncultivated land, has not long since been acquired to enlarge uneconomic holdings, give employment, and thereby grow food, which is of such vital importance now?
§ Mr. DUKE
The Congested Districts Board have compulsory powers to acquire land in the scheduled congested districts under the provisions of the Land Act of 1909. The Board have received numerous communications asking them to acquire the Stock estate, and they are aware that there are small holdings on the property. They accordingly made an offer for the untenanted land, which was refused, and subsequently they asked the owner to offer them the tenanted and untenanted lands for sale, but he was not in a position to negotiate. Pending the result of proceedings which were then pending for the compulsory acquisition of other estates, the Board took no steps to acquire this property compulsorily, and for the past two years they have been obliged to suspend negotiations for the purchase of any further estates.
§ Mr. FLAVIN
Is not this really a scandalous case which has been pending for eight or nine years, with thirty or forty uneconomic holdings in a populous district, while the Board, having compulsory powers, has not put them into operation in any part of the comity Kerry?
§ Mr. FLAVIN
Is it not a scandal in a congested county like Kerry, where there is such a large number of uneconomic holdings whose occupiers are in a starving condition, that, though they have plenty of grazing land in front of them, they cannot get farms under the legislation passed in this House?
§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
How can the Government complain if farmers do not till their land when there are thousands of acres of untenanted land which they can take up themselves and give to the people?