CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - HOUSES FOR EX-SERVICE MEN.

To ask the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that a scheme for the building of 18 houses for ex-service men and their families, for Cobh district, Co. Cork, has already been decided upon, but for some reason or other is being delayed. If he can explain the reason for such delay, and if he will now arrange with the Board of Works to have this work started immediately, the necessity for extra housing accommodation and relief of unemployment being keenly felt in the district?

The number of cottages proposed to be erected under the Scheme referred to is 15, and not 18 as stated in the Question. This Scheme was originally in process of making before the Custom House Fire in which all documents were destroyed; and the whole of the work under the Irish Land (Provision for Sailors and Soldiers) Act, 1919, had subsequently to be reconstructed, with inevitable delay. During the reconstruction process the changes consequent upon the signing of the Treaty took place. The work under the Act is carried out by the Sailors and Soldiers' Department, 30 Lr. Fitzwilliam Street, under the supervision of the British Treasury and with British Treasury funds. Certain legal formalities consequent upon the change of Government in the country remain to be arranged for the delegation of authority for the signing of Orders making and confirming Schemes under the Act. The Ministry of Local Government and the British Treasury have been considering the matter and it is hoped that these legal formalities will be completed very shortly. Until Schemes are made and confirmed, land is not legally acquired and the Board of Works cannot be instructed to enter on the land for the erection of the cottages.