CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CLAIMS OF UNECONOMIC HOLDERS IN OFFALY.

asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture whether he and the Land Commission have received repeated applications from uneconomic holders and landless men in Tullamore and district, for the acquisition of the estate of Lady Howard Bury, Charleville, Tullamore; if he can state the total acreage and the number of men presently employed on same; the number of acres which would be excluded under the title of demesne lands, and the acreage covered by town park; whether the lands have been inspected and the date of the last inspection, and the nature of the report and recommendation, if any, submitted by the Inspector, and if he can now state what action the Land Commission propose to take in this case.

Mr. HOGAN

The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. From the particulars furnished by the owner of the estate under the Land Act, 1923, the area of Charleville demesne and other lands in her occupation, excluding bog, is given as 2,097a. 3r. 38p. The Land Commission had the lands inspected in December, 1924, and at that time 38 men were constantly employed. The Land Commission do not propose to take any action with regard to the acquisition of these lands.

What is the date of the last inspection?

Mr. HOGAN

I would want notice of that. I could not answer it off-hand.

That is in the question, and the question has been in for the last four or five days.

Mr. HOGAN

I think you can assume it was fairly recently.

Will the Minister say whether it was the result of representations made privately by men of influence or whether it was on the report or recommendations of the Inspector that the Commissioners arrived at this decision?

Mr. HOGAN

The Deputy can take it for granted that it was not the result of private representations. I know something about the case myself.

Would the Minister call for the file and have a look at it himself?

Mr. HOGAN

Certainly, but I have read the file already.

How long ago is it since you read it?

Mr. HOGAN

Three or four months ago.