CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - SITES FOR HOUSES.

asked the Minister for Defence whether, having regard to the urgent necessity for houses, and the difficulty in securing the necessary sites in towns, steps will be taken to place portion of the military lands, taken over from the British Military Authorities, at the disposal of the local authorities, who would then have power to make free grants of sites under the Housing Act, 1924.

The disposal of military lands for any purpose would involve important questions of principle which have not yet been determined. The Deputy's suggestion will, however, receive consideration if he puts up particular instances where the lands could be put to useful purposes. It can be understood that these lands are not in such a position that it is within the province of the Government to give them to any local authority. They are the possession of the State and no local authority is entitled to get them simply because they are in their area.

Would the Minister make a return or inform the Dáil in some manner the extent of the lands now in the hands of the Ministry of Defence and the different areas in which they are situate?

I understand the question to be the extent of the lands now in the hands of the Minister for Defence and the areas in which they are situate. That is a question which is a little different from the other one. I would rather a question were put down on the subject. I should say that I would not be in a position to answer it immediately. If the Deputy would give me a week's notice. I would endeavour to supply the information.

Do I understand that if we put up a definite proposition in respect of any particular property or any particular area, you are prepared to consider that?

It is rather difficult to answer questions so general as that. The lands are held under different tenures. Some of them are held under the Land Commission. Some of them are held under leases, and so on. It would be impossible to give a satisfactory answer to a general question of that kind. There have been to my own knowledge two cases in which definite propositions were put up to us, and those are receiving at the present moment very careful consideration.