Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Holdings on Roscommon Estate.

asked the Minister for Lands and Fisheries if he will state why the name of Martin McGovern, Ballymacurley, has not been included in the list of successful applicants for holdings of land on the Strevens-McDermot Estate at Oran, Co. Roscommon.

The Land Commission received no fewer than 149 applications for land on those estates. Martin McGovern, who appears to be a landless man, aged 63, without dependents, was one of the 117 to whom an allotment was not made. The area for disposal provided for the requirements of 32 allottees. The circumstances of every applicant and of every eligible smallholder in the immediate locality are taken into consideration by the Land Commission when a scheme of division is being prepared and land is allotted so far as the area available permits by reference to the needs and qualifications of these parties.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say if the Land Commission were aware that this man's father was evicted in this locality and that there was proof of that given to the Land Commission; further, that this man was engaged in agricultural pursuits all his lifetime as an agricultural labourer, and as the result of his thrift has money to stock a farm if he got it, and that other landless men in the district got it? I should like to know was there any political preference in this, or why this man, who was first entitled to a farm as a landless man and the son of an evicted tenant, did not get it?

First and foremost, of course, being a landless man does not entitle him to first preference. There were 116 who were similarly treated. There was not sufficient land to go round. As to his being the son of an evicted tenant, I have no information at my disposal. If the Deputy wants additional information and puts down another question, I shall endeavour to reply.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say how many landless men got land there? I do not mean that he was entitled to first preference except as a landless man, and I maintain he was that. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that several landless men got holdings on this land and that the Land Commission were made aware and were satisfied that this man was the son of an evicted tenant?

From the information at my disposal this man is aged 63, without dependents. Surely a man of that advanced age, without dependents, is not the most suitable type of man to give land to.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary state positively that politics are not taken into consideration when determining a man's claim in the distribution of land?

I certainly will.

If so, will he restrain Fianna Fáil Clubs from representing to the people that politics will be taken into consideration?

You gave Cronin a farm.

We are not going to follow the footsteps of our predecessors.