Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Government's De-rating Proposals.

asked the President if he is yet in a position to make an announcement as to the present policy of the Government in relation to the proposal to de-rate agricultural land out of the proceeds of the retained land annuities.

The land annuities are at present, as the Deputy is aware, the subject of correspondence with the British Government. It is, therefore, obviously undesirable at the moment to make any announcement in their regard.

Arising out of the President's reply, and, in view of the promises made at the recent election by the President's Party, would he not consider that the time is now ripe for making an announcement as to what his policy is in regard to de-rating, which is the most pressing point in the question?

I think the Deputy must be satisfied with the answer I have given. It is quite obvious that the question of de-rating hangs on this matter of the land annuities.

Would the President tell us what is his position on this matter? Is he in a position to give an assurance that no proceedings will be taken against land annuitants in respect of annuities that fall due on the 1st June?

I cannot understand how that matter arises. It has been made quite clear on all occasions that our policy is that the land annuities will have to be paid to the State as before.

Does not the President see the relationship between the position of the tenant who has to pay his land annuities on the 1st June and who has been told that he would not have to pay his rates after the 1st June? The present position is that he has to pay both.

Is the President aware that Cumann na nGaedheal propagandists all over the country have been trying to encourage the non-payment of land annuities?