Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Congestion in Co. Leitrim.

asked the Minister for Lands and Fisheries if he will state the number of uneconomic holdings in Co. Leitrim and the area of land estimated as available for relief of congestion in the county; the number of uneconomic holdings that have been enlarged in the county under the operations of the Land Acts since 1923; and what scheme, if any, he has for dealing with the relief of congestion for the county.

The Land Commission have not found it practicable so far to make a complete survey of the problem of congestion in each county. They deal with congestion by districts, according as the local conditions are investigated and as suitable land is available. Under the Land Acts, 1923-9, they have acquired in County Leitrim to date a total area of 3,145 acres of untenanted land for distribution, and are in definite process of acquiring a further area of 4,353 acres. In addition, an area of 11,550 acres in County Leitrim is under investigation with a view to its suitability for acquisition. Of the area acquired, 2,745 acres have been already divided and, in addition, the Land Commission have divided since 1923 in County Leitrim an area of 2,958 acres on estates purchased by the Estates Commissioners and the Congested Districts Board. The exact number of uneconomic holdings which have been enlarged in County Leitrim since 1923 is not readily available, but it certainly exceeds 300.

Am I to understand that the Parliamentary Secretary has made no detailed survey of the conditions in Co. Leitrim with a view to relieving the existing congestion there?

There is no information available for the whole of the county, but our work is leading up to such a survey for each county.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary give us any indication that it is his intention to make such a survey?

It is being done gradually. It would take some time to complete such a survey.

Surely the Parliamentary Secretary does not hold that he is dealing with this proposition in a practical way by the making of spasmodic investigations here and there? In order to make such a survey he must deal with the whole situation as it exists.

It is not being done in a spasmodic but rather in a methodical way.

I do not see how the Parliamentary Secretary can hold that the survey is being made methodically when he does not go into the whole situation at the one time.

When the Deputy reads the reply to the question he will be in a position to understand the situation better.