§ Mr. DANIEL BOYLE
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware of the unrest and discontent existing in the barony of Erris, county Mayo, owing to the failure of the Congested Districts Board to make progress with land purchase in that barony; is he aware that almost all the estates in the barony have been, for periods varying from months to years, on offer to the Board, and that purchase negotiations are now practically at a standstill; will he say what representations, if any, the Congested Districts Board have made to him 1972W as to the cause and remedy for this deadlock; if they have made no representations, will he ask them for an explanation on the subject; is he aware that when the Congested Districts Board was about to be established the conditions in Erris were used as an argument for its creation, but that up to the present Erris has derived little or no advantage from the Board's operations; is he aware that the recent observations of the Lord Chief Baron at Castlebar Assizes on the relationship between land purchase and peace and order were made when considering a case arising out of agrarian unrest in this barony; and will he now state what steps he proposes to take to have effect given to the desire of the farmers of Erris to participate in the advantages following ownership of their holdings?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Any unrest and discontent in the barony of Erris cannot reasonably be attributed to failure on the part of the Congested Districts Board to expedite land purchase. Most of the estates in this barony have been offered for sale to the Board, and negotiations for those still unsold are not at a standstill, nor is there a deadlock. I am aware that the conditions of the barony were used as an argument for the creation of the Congested Districts Board, and that district has already received very considerable advantages from the operations of the Board. With regard to the remainder of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the questions asked on this subject on the 21st July.