I beg to move the following resolution :—
"That this Dáil hereby approves of the Railway and Canal Commission (Extension of Time) Order, 1923, made on the fifth day of February, 1923, by the Executive Council, under Section 7 of the Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922 (No. 2 of 1922), and laid before this Dáil on the twentieth day of February, 1923."
This Resolution requires a little explanation. The Department of Agriculture holds considerable areas of land at present which were acquired under the Defence of the Realm (Acquisition of Land) Act, 1916. The land was acquired compulsorily for the purpose of allotments and at present is set to plotholders. Under the Act the powers of the Department to hold the land only continues to the 31st August, 1923, unless extended by the Railway and Canal Commission. The Railway and Canal Commission was a United Kingdom body and is now gone out of operation in the Saorstát and it is necessary to provide some substitute for it to exercise the powers of the Railway and Canal Commission. This is what the Order does. This Order provides that a Commission composed of the Executive heads of the Ministry for Home Affairs, and the Ministry for Local Government, should exercise the powers of the Railway and Canal Commission in the Saorstát, and it is proposed that this body should make an Order extending the time during which the Department can hold the lands. That body will have power to extend the time for three years or for any lesser period. This Order has been made by the Executive Council and it is laid on the Table of the Dáil and it will be completed by resolution of the Dáil.