Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Drainage and Reclamation Scheme.

asked the Minister for Agriculture the total estimated cost of the proposed drainage and land reclamation scheme in the coming financial year and the proportion which will be spent on direct wages and on grants to farmers.

asked the Minister for Agriculture the number of men (apart from officials) who are likely to be employed directly by his Department on land reclamation and drainage work on 1st April, 1st May, 1st June and 1st July next.

asked the Minister for Agriculture the estimated total amount of moneys to be disbursed by his Department between now and July 1st on (a) wages to persons (other than officials) employed on land reclamation and drainage work, and (b) to farmers by way of grants for land reclamation and drainage works.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 5, 6 and 7 together. I hope to be able to have work on the farm drainage and reclamation project started in eight counties by the 1st July next, and to have the project in operation in all 26 counties within 12 months from that date. I do not anticipate, therefore, that there will be any expenditure on grants, or that there will be any men, apart from officials, employed, under the project, before the 1st July. I am not yet in a position to give any precise estimate of the cost of the project for the coming financial year or the respective proportions of such cost which will be spent on grants to farmers and direct wages.

Will the Minister say how it is proposed to raise the money for this scheme?

I think that does not arise directly out of the reply, but there is a debate proceeding in which that would be one intelligent inquiry the Deputy might make.

Is the Minister aware that there does not appear to be any provision in the Estimates, for which the Vote on Account is now being taken, for the land reclamation scheme, as he describes it?