§ MR. KAVANAGH (Carlow)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Congested Districts Board was authorised last April to purchase £420,000 worth of tenanted land, and that the Board is unable to carry out the purchase of these estates on account of the lack of funds to make improvements on them; and, seeing that a serious situation has arisen on 1450 these estates on account of the sales not being carried through, whether he will advise that the Board should be provided with the necessary increase to its funds to enable it to complete the purchase of, and carry out the improvements on, these estates which have been already authorised by the Treasury
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) It is the fact that in April last the Congested Districts Board decided to negotiate for the purchase of eight estates at an estimated cost of about £420,000. The Board did not at once enter upon negotiations for the purchase of these estates, but at their meeting on the 10th instant it was decided to go on with the matter, and the negotiations for purchase will now proceed. Such negotiations in the case of large estates necessarily take time, and it cannot be said that a serious situation has arisen on these estates because the sales have not been carried through. There is no difficulty about the provision of funds for the purchase of estates by means of advances from the Land Commission, and as regards the improvement of the eight estates particularly referred to no immediate difficulty can arise seeing that, even under the most expeditious proceedings a considerable time must elapse before the lands are vested in the Board.