§ Mr. DORIS
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many years have elapsed since the Congested Districts Board acquired the estate of D. G. FitzGerald, county Mayo, and what the Board have done to relieve the congestion on the estate; whether he is aware that the Board have now advertised the letting for grazing of a farm in the townlands of Middletown and Cloughboley on this estate, and containing about 150 acres; that immediately adjoining this farm, there are twelve tenants the valuations of whose holdings do not exceed £7 each, and four whose valuations are less than £12 each; and, having regard to the threatened food shortage, if the Board will withdraw the notice of grazing lettings and have the farm referred to immediately divided amongst the neighbouring small landholders, who are badly in need of land for tillage?62W
§ Mr. DUKE
This estate was vested in the Congested Districts Board on the 25th March, 1915. I am informed that in the year 1916 forty small holdings were enlarged out of untenanted land on the estate, and that the distribution of the remainder of the untenanted lands is proceeding. It is hoped that all the untenanted lands will be distributed before, the coming spring The Board have not advertised the grazing of the farms referred to. They will be distributed this winter amongst the uneconomic holders in the vicinity,
§ Mr. DORIS
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he is aware of the feeling of disappointment and unrest that has been caused throughout the congested districts by the suspension of land purchase; and, in order to have this feeling allayed and food production considerably increased, will he take steps to have the suspension removed at least as to cases in West Mayo, to which his attention has already been called?
§ Mr. DUKE
No doubt the restrictions on the operation of land purchase have been felt by the tenants of unsold holdings in the congested districts in Ireland, but in existing financial conditions it is impossible to deal with the matter. The increase of food production can be accomplished apart from the settlement of questions affecting land tenure.