Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Farm Buildings Scheme.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state in respect of the year 1955-56 and the present financial year to-date, (a) the number of applications for grants under the farm buildings scheme, (b) the number of grants approved, (c) the number of grants paid, and (d) the number of applications deferred.

As the answer is in the form of a tabular statement, I propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to have it circulated with the Official Report.

The following is the statement:—

1955/56

1956/57(April 1—Sept. 30)

(a) Number of applications for grants received

45,350

18,480

(b) Number of grants approved

23,160

*

(c) Number of grants paid

20,530

7,920

(d) Number of applications deferred

None

1,220

* Particulars are being obtained from the Department's local supervisory officers, by whom the approvals are issued, and will be supplied to the Deputy.

NOTE.—A substantial number of applications received in the latter part of 1955/56 would not normally reach the stage of approval or payment of grants until 1956/57.

Although I have not had the advantage of seeing the Minister's reply, I think it is generally known that an instruction issued from the Department of Agriculture early in August which meant that the allocations of grants for farm buildings were to cease as from that date. I wish, in the first place, to ask the Minister whether he is satisfied that justice has been done to all those who had undertaken work under the scheme whether they had completed the work or not? Is he satisfied that justice had been rendered to them when the instruction was issued? Secondly, I wish to ask him when it is proposed, or is it proposed, during the present financial year, to resume consideration of fresh applications? In particular, I want to know whether the work that had been in progress is going to be dealt with by the Department and whether farmers who undertook that work will have their claims met?

This question seemed to ask for definite figures.

A Cheann Comhairle, I hope to be able to provide the Deputy with abundant and consoling information in answer to Question No. 23 in the name of Deputy Allen.