§ Mr. KELLY
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he proposes that his Department should exercise any of the powers conferred on the English and Scottish Boards by Regulation 2M of the Defence of the Realm Regulations; and if he requested that similar powers should be conferred on the Department of Agriculture?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The object aimed at in Regulation 2M, which applies to Great Britain, is secured by Regulation 2P of the Tillage Order, and by a further Order in Council of the 6th instant, which was published in the Press. These give to the De-638W partment of Agriculture very large powers of entry. The question whether increased powers may be necessary, either from withholding of land from tillage or from other causes, will not be overlooked by the Irish Executive.
§ Mr. KELLY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Local Government Board have communicated to local councils their powers under Regulation 2L (5), (8), and (9) of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, by which they may enter on any lands which are not being tilled in accordance with the Regulations; what steps are being taken to secure co-operation between the Local Government Board and the Department of Agriculture in working these provisions; and will he bring before local councils the inadvisability of paying high rents for allotments when they will within a few weeks be able to avail of the powers conferred by these Regulations and take over lands, without the consent of the owner, where such lands are not being used in accordance with the tillage scheme requirements?
§ Mr. DUKE
The question of exercising the powers referred to does not at present arise; when it arises each case will be considered on its merits. The Department of Agriculture and the Local Government Board are in frequent communication with regard to the working of that portion of the food production scheme for which they are jointly responsible. I believe local councils are fully alive to the desirability of getting lands for allotments as cheaply as possible, and, in view of the urgency of getting allotments prepared for sowing, it appears to me to be-better to encourage them to make their own arrangements with the owners rather than to induce them to defer action for speculative advantage.