CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. [ ORAL ANSWERS. ] - WESTMEATH CO. COUNCIL GRANTS.

asked the Minister for Finance when it is proposed to pay to the Westmeath County Council the balance of £20,000 due on account of grants withheld, and whether he is aware that the Council is in a serious financial position owing to the failure to pay over this balance; and further, to ask when the sums due to the Council in respect of motor taxation will be paid, as the money is urgently needed to give employment on the roads.

As pointed out in answer to a previous question on this subject by the Deputy, the claim of Westmeath County Council in respect of grants formerly withheld by the British Government was settled in September last, subject to minor adjustments, by a payment of £18,614 1s. 3d. This amount did not include Estate Duty Grant for 1921-22 and half of the Agricultural Grant for the same year, as these moneys were retained in the Guarantee Fund in connection with charges under the Land Acts. The question of the release of these latter amounts out of the Guarantee Fund is at present under consideration.

The latter part of the query, in regard to motor taxation, should be addressed to the Minister for Local Government.

There have been large demands on the Guarantee Fund in respect of the nonpayment of land annuities.