§ 28 and 72 Mr. CLANCY
asked (1) the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the Air Board commandeered four or five months ago lands belonging to several persons in more than one dis- 722 trict of a county in Leinster for aerodrome purposes; whether the compensation to be paid for the lands in question was assessed also some time since, but has not yet been paid, the farmers concerned being thus left without the means of purchasing other lands out of which they might be enabled to earn their living and to produce food; in view of the fact that the time for sowing and preparing the ground there for is at hand and will soon pass away, whether the War Department or the Air Board will cause proper compensation to be paid without any further delay to the persons concerned; (2) the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether, in selecting in one case, the particulars of which have been sent to the Board, land for the purposes of an aerodrome in a Leinster county, a tillage farm consisting of nearly 200 acres was alone commandeered, although it was surrounded on two or three sides by grass lands; whether this farm is now being actually converted into grass land, though the Irish Department of Agriculture is taking steps in the opposite direction, in view of the necessity of producing more food; who is responsible for this action of the Air Board; and whether it will be stopped?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Certain lands were commandeered some months ago in the locality referred to in the first question for aerodrome purposes, but owing to technical difficulties the proposed compensation has not yet been assessed. It is hoped, however, that the matter will soon be ready for submission to the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission, whose duty it is to determine the amount to be paid in such cases. The reason of the choice of the site referred to in the second question in preference to the adjoining pasture land was that it is absolutely level, requiring very little clearing work, and has a dry soil. The adjoining pasture land was ruled out by the technical flying officer. I need hardly say that the whole district was searched most carefully before the site chosen was decided upon.