Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Galway Land Acquisition.

57.

asked the Minister for Lands if the Land Commission have any plans for the acquisition of the Curley estate, Leahive, Creggs, County Galway.

58.

asked the Minister for Lands the position regarding the Caulfield estate, Cortoon, Flascaghmore, Dunmore, County Galway.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 58 together.

There are no proceedings for the acquisition of either of these holdings. In the case of the Curley estate, certain inquiries are being carried out at present. The Land Commission had the Caulfield estate—12 acres—inspected a few years ago and decided not to institute acquisition proceedings.

Is the Minister aware that the Caulfield estate has been unoccupied for the past few years and are the Land Commission prepared to do anything about estates like this?

In fact, it is not unoccupied. Does the Deputy know the background to this case?

I am rather surprised that he asked the question then.

Perhaps not for a few years but for the past two years there has been nobody living in this estate. I was under the impression that the Land Commission acquired estates like this. There are many smallholders in this district anxiously seeking land and I feel that the Land Commission should acquire this land to divide among them.

It is not correct to say that there has been nobody living on this estate for the past two years. I would be very surprised if the smallholders in the district around this small estate were pressing to have it divided in the circumstances.

Why does the Minister think I put down the question?

Because the Deputy does not know the facts.

Maybe the Minister does.

Because there is an election.

Would the Minister like to say when?

Within the next year.

The Minister for Local Government made a hames of the last one. He will have nothing to do with this one, anyway.

It would be hard to make a hames of this election.

They are running in all directions. Carpetbaggers.

There has been nothing like it since the Civil War in America. The carpetbaggers of Fine Gael.

Did I hear the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance insult the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, who has been carrying a carpet bag for 30 years in public life as I have been proud to do?

I do not think so.

It was the Minister for Finance.

I would carry a carpet bag in any constituency in Ireland and beat any of them.

(Interruptions.)