HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1609-10
17. Mr. LYNCH

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the shortage of food supply as affecting Great Britain and Ireland; whether an urgent call has been issued by the food Controller for the cultivation of more hind to produce potatoes; whether thousands of acres of grass lands are available in county Clare, and whether he proposes to allow the tenants to cultivate it?


The reply to the first and second paragraphs of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the latter part of the question, I cannot add anything to the replies given to the hon. Member's questions on the 11th and 14th March, except to say that I am not aware of any holding in Clare where the Tillage Orders are not either voluntarily being observed or in course of compulsory enforcement.


Has not the situation become more serious than when those answers were given, and if it can be shown that there are thousands of acres in Clare capable of cultivation to increase the food supplies, will the right hon. Gentleman open them to the tenants?


I cannot, in the position which I hold, at present take any course contrary to law. There is not a plot of land in Ireland in which somebody has not a right, and there is not a man in Ireland who has legal rights in land who is not ready to defend them to any length.


Will not the right hon. Gentleman advise that the law should be altered so as to make such untenanted grazing land available for tillage purposes?


No. That is a very large question of policy.

18. Mr. FIELD

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant for Ireland whether he has received resolutions from the All-Ireland Convention of Irish Plot holders asking for a grant of £ 2 per act to local authorities for the purpose of providing tool houses, etc., similar to the grant to English authorities and for fix it; of tenure to plot holders up to the period of 1920 in Ireland, and, if not, for amendment of the Clause so as to give the same facilities to the plot holders of Ireland one placing them on the same basis as the plot holders of England, Scotland, and Wales whether he can state what the Government propose to do so as to place Irish Plot holders in the same position as those in Great Britain; and whether he will like wise introduce a Bill giving similar fixity of tenure for Irish plotholders?


The resolution referred to in the question does not appear to have been received. I have no information as to the conditions governing the Grant of £ 2 per acre under the Cultivation of Lands Order of the English Board of Agriculture, but the hon. Member knows that the conditions of agriculture in England and in Ireland are not similar. As to the last part of the question, I would refer to the replies to questions by the hon. Member on the 6th August and 18th October.