Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Department of Lands Policy.

25.

asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the future policy of his Department in the light of this country's entry into EEC.

The policy of the Land Commission is at present under examination with a view to the early implementation here of the structural improvement measures recently adopted by the Council of Minister of the EEC. The fundamental aim of these measures is to ensure that farm incomes generally will reach the level obtainable in the non-agricultural sector.

As far as the Forest and Wildlife Service of my Department is concerned, it is not expected that accession to EEC will necessitate any change in policy.

Is the Minister aware that there is a great deal of speculation and surmise and could the Minister make a clear-cut statement as to the future policy of the Land Commission?

Yes. There are four committees at present considering various aspects of Land Commission policy and I expect these will report to me inside the next fortnight and I shall then be in a position to make a further announcement.

Could the Minister hazard a guess whether or not enlarged farms will be one of the outcomes?

That matter per se is not under discussion but it will obviously come under consideration.

It is not one of the matters being discussed?

Not as an individual item, but I have no doubt it is involved generally in the whole field of consideration of the structural reform programme.