CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - STATE AID FOR RURAL HOUSING.

To ask the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the scarcity of houses that prevails in rural areas in Ireland, and if the Government has considered the desirability of providing Grants in Aid to enable Rural District Councils to proceed with the erection of houses, the rent of which would be reasonable for agricultural workers to pay.

The Government have given careful consideration to the question of the resumption of State Aid for Rural Housing, and have had specially before them the matter of un-issued balances in the cases of loans which had been already sanctioned, but where work was suspended locally owing to war conditions. These balances, which amount to £417,519, are involved in the general financial questions which are under discussion with the British Treasury. It is hoped that the balances may shortly be available for all cases where it is desired to complete unfinished schemes.

Could the Minister give us any idea when he thinks they will be available?

That will be difficult.