To ask the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that in June, 1922, the Macroom Rural District Council agreed to hand over the cottages and plots to the tenants, free of rent, subject to sanction of the Local Government Departments; that no rents were demanded or paid until last month, when the Council served a demand for rents and arrears; that many of these tenants are at present unemployed and unable to pay arrears; that the cottages are in a bad state of repair; and whether he will make some arrangement whereby the tenants can keep these cottages.

Sanction was refused to the proposal of the Macroom Rural District Council that they should hand over all labourers' cottages and plots to the tenants free of rent, but the Council have been asked to forward to the Ministry a draft scheme for sale of the cottages to their occupiers.

The rents of the cottages in question are very low, varying from 6¼d. to 1/1 per week.

I will have an inspection made of the cottages, and will make inquiry into the cost of repair.

A scheme of sale cannot be entertained where tenants have endeavoured to evade their obligations because of unsettled local conditions.