asked the Minister for Lands whether it is the policy of the Land Commission nowadays to refrain from acquiring compulsorily, or purchasing voluntarily, large estates where formerly the desirability of such acquisition or purchase would have been indicated.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Acquisition of Large Estates.
There has been no change in Land Commission policy in regard to large estates. Indeed, far from there being any tendency to refrain from the acquisition of large estates, the Land Commission is fully implementing a directive on general policy which I issued to them to pay special attention to estates of over £100 valuation which were the subject of voluntary or compulsory proceedings.
The Land Commission must, of course, be satisfied that lands acquired by them can be effectively used for the purposes of the Land Acts and also that the purchase price is not exorbitant.
As Deputies are aware, the Land Commission do not compulsorily acquire land where production and employment are adequate and the owners of such properties are entitled to exercise their full rights in the disposition or otherwise of their property.
From the standpoint of social policy this means that the Land Commission do not acquire land compulsorily where there is, in the ultimate analysis, no net social gain to the rural community taking all the conditions into account apart from the cases where, for reasons of humanity, proceedings are not taken.
Would the Minister state whether the intake of land during the past twelve months increased on that of previous years or whether it was the same?
As far as I know, it increased slightly.
Does that include holdings of land with valuations of £100 and over?
I could not reply to that because there were a number of such estates—I think, 31 estates—at various stages of examination, and I could not say how much land from them came into the pool in the course of the past financial year.
Questions Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 postponed.