Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Payment for Land.

19.

asked the Minister for Lands if he intends to change the system of payment for land acquired by the Land Commission from bonds to cash.

The answer is in the negative.

Could I refer the Minister to his Estimate speech where he said he had good news to announce while Deputy L'Estrange was speaking? Surely the Minister must agree that it is criminal that bonds are changing hands for as little as £64, on the Minister's own admission, and that it is time to change this?

That is not the question that the Deputy asked. He asked if it was proposed to change the system. I said it is not. In the Estimate speech I was talking about removing the disabilities from the land bonds. In that connection I would like to confirm that negotiations are continuing between the Department of Finance and the Department of Lands.

Does the Minister not mean to guarantee those for a few months?

That would be a matter for the Minister for Finance. This is quite complicated, as the Deputy probably knows. I should also draw the attention of the House to the fact that as a result of the recent drop in interest rates the current land bonds of 9¾ per cent are standing at £99.70p which is very close to par, so anybody getting a bond at the moment is getting almost full price. The current situation in regard to bonds is good.

Of course there is no guarantee it will stay close to par?

There is no guarantee in regard to interest rates. The current situation is good and, as I pointed out, discussions between the Department and the Department of Finance in regard to removal of the disabilities under which land bonds have suffered up to the present are continuing and we hope they will be completed within the next few months.

There will be a decision within two months?

We would hope so.

I can repeat the question in two months.

The terms of treaty being negotiated between the two Departments will be announced in due course?

When peace is restored?

Yes, when peace is restored.