WRITTEN ANSWERS. - GRANT FOR EX-SERVICEMEN.

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, (a) what arrangements have been made, if any, to secure that the eleven and half million pounds granted under the Soldiers and Sailors Act of 1919 will be available for the purpose of the Act, and whether there is to be formed an Irish Soldiers and Sailors Land Trust, financed by the English Treasury; (b) what amount will be available to develop and divide the Castle warders' estate purchased from Lord Cloncurry, through the influence of the local ex-Servicemen?

As regards the first part of the question the British Government in 1919 agreed to advance money to enable soldiers and sailors to share in the advantages of the Land Purchase Acts. There was considerable opposition to the scheme in various localities, especially where land was bought exclusively to make provision for soldiers and sailors. Further operations under the Act were suspended by the Irish Government in February, 1922, and it is not possible to state at present if or when such operations will be resumed.

The Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust referred to in the question is a Trust proposed to be established under Sec. 3 of the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1922, for the purpose of continuing and carrying into effect the provisions of Sec. 4 of the Irish Land (Provision for Sailors and Soldiers) Act, 1919, under which cottages and gardens as distinct from holdings could be provided for sailors and soldiers. The terms and conditions of the proposed Trust are fully set out in Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1922, above referred to.

As regards the second part of the question the Estates Commissioners acquired under Section I. of the Irish Land (Provisions for Sailors and Soldiers) Act, 1919, 885 acres of the Castlewarden and other lands on the Estate of Lord Cloncurry. The lands have not been divided, but are let for the present under temporary grazing lettings to small holders. It is not possible to state at present what moneys will be available to develop and divide the lands in question.