§ 13. Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will take steps to see that in all applications for exemptions from the tillage regulations care will be taken that each case will be dealt with on its merits, and that no influence will be used by which the large grazing ranches in the country may be excluded from their operation, so that there may be equality of obligation on all landholders to produce food?
§ 15. Mr. LUNDON
asked what are the terms upon which local authorities in Ireland can borrow money from the Treasury to carry out that portion of the tillage scheme put on to them?
§ 16. Mr. LUNDON
asked whether the Advisory Committee to the Irish Food Production Controllers will have all exemption claims brought before them; and, if so, will they be the final authority on such matters or will the Government officials who constitute the Food Committee have the right of veto?
§ Mr. DUKE
Applications for exemption are dealt with by the Department of Agriculture in accordance with the decisions of their Advisory Committee as to the classes of holdings which may be exempted from the operation of the regulations for compulsory tillage. Cases in which doubt arises as to whether a particular application comes within one of the classes of exempted holdings are submitted to the Advisory Committee for their recommendation, but final responsibility for the decision rests with the Department.
§ 17. Mr. LUNDON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he has considered the possibility of graziers hoodwinking the Irish Food Production Committee by telling their inspectors on their visits after the 28th February that they are prepared to comply with the law without having any notion of so doing, and then when the season would be coming to a close putting forward the pretext that labour and machinery were not forthcoming; and will the Royal Irish Constabulary be in structed to pay almost daily visits in or near the lands of such people and report to the Food Committee whether or not serious and genuine attempts were being made to carry out the tillage order?
§ 18. Mr. LUNDON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many exemption claims have been put forward in county Limerick from those who have hitherto used their lands for grazing purposes alone; if he will take into consideration the fact that every one of those holding such grazing tracts are wealthy men capable of purchasing machinery and all the necessary requirements for tillage as well as labour, and compel every one of them to comply with the Order; and, failing their doing so, will he give over the percentage allocated for tillage to the labourers and small farmers and landless people at the ground rent?
§ Mr. DUKE
Applications for exemption in respect of land have been received from Limerick as from other counties, but I am not in a position to say how many come from any one class of occupiers. All the attendant circumstances will be duly taken into consideration by the Department of Agriculture in cases in which it may be necessary to take action owing to the failure of occupiers to comply with regulations for compulsory tillage.