Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Land Project Grant.

38.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if he is aware of the need for increasing the land project grant as costs have risen sharply since the last increase.

I am not aware of the need for increasing the land project grant. Demand for the facilities and grants provided under the scheme continues at a high level. The costs taken into account when estimating the grant are those current when the application is being processed.

May I put it to the Minister that it would be good policy at present when we are about to enter Europe, to increase these grants? Would it not be possible to increase them in view of the greater earnings of part of our agricultural community? Would it not be of great benefit to our people in many areas if the grants were increased by creating employment on one hand and improving the land on the other?

The Deputy may not be aware that the rate of grants for this purpose in this country are probably the highest in Europe and the return from land drainage schemes will be a great deal more profitable in the future than in the past. Therefore, land drainage should recommend itself to all farmers. The assistance given by the State here is better than the assistance given anywhere else in Europe at present.

The remaining questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.