CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - LIMERICK LAND COMMISSION ARREARS.

asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture if he will state what is the total amount of arrears due, by County Limerick purchasers, to the Land Commission up to November 1st, 1925, and how much of the amount is due for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 years.

The total of arrears of Land Purchase Annuities due by Tenant-Purchasers in County Limerick at 31st ultimo was £36,576.

Of this amount there was due for—

1 year to 1st May & 1st June, 1925

£5,511

2 years,, ,,,,

5,429

3 ,,,, ,,,,

3,655

4 ,,,, ,,,,

5,401

5 ,,,, ,,,,

2,200

6 ,,,, ,,,,

410

These were the arrears on the 31st December. Of course, that would have fallen off by half within a fortnight from that date. There are arrears immediately after the gale day.

In view of the very heavy amount of arrears of annuities, would the Minister consider the advisability of taking over the land in regard to which these heavy arrears exist and have that land divided?

Mr. HOGAN

I will consider that suggestion. I think that it should be done where there are old-standing arrears and where the ratepayers are paying the rates and annuities for occupiers who refuse to pay their rates and taxes. I would be inclined to consider the advisability of introducing legislation to enable the Land Commission to acquire these lands and divide them amongst the uneconomic holders who will pay their annuities. Arrears of annuities are greater in counties like Limerick and Meath, good rich counties, than in counties where there are congested districts.

The Minister has stated here that a portion of those arrears has been made good since a certain date. Might I ask him what amount of the £5,000 odd due for the last four years, and the £2,000 odd due for the last five years, has been repaid?

Mr. HOGAN

Probably very little. The question asked by Deputy Nolan had reference to the total amount of arrears due by County Limerick purchasers up to November 1st, 1925, and how much of the amount was due from one to six years. As a rule, the arrears, a week after the gale day, are much greater than they would be a fortnight after the gale day. The arrears that would be paid would be arrears due for a year or half a year. It is more than probable that the decrease is in regard to the period of one and two years, and there is only a very small decrease in regard to the longer periods.

What would the total decrease be after the fall?

Mr. HOGAN

I would have to make enquiries in regard to that matter.

What would the total be for County Limerick?

Mr. HOGAN

I can let the Deputy know.

A separate question can be put down in connection with that matter.