§ Mr. CLANCY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the protest of the guardians of the Celbridge Union against the suggestion that the local police force should be increased because of a recent cattle drive in the locality, on the ground that the present force is adequate to deal with the situation; whether the board of guardians mentioned were further of opinion that the cattle drives referred to were caused by 692W the Government's inactivity in either having the proper proportion of the estates in the locality put under cultivation or taking steps to have them purchased and allotted to uneconomic holders in the vicinity; and, if so, whether the Government is now prepared to take any steps, and, if so, what steps, to secure that the public expectations in this whole matter shall not be disappointed?
§ Mr. DUKE
I have received the resolution referred to. The authorities of the Royal Irish Constabulary are responsible for the determination of the strength of the force required for the preservation of the peace in any district, and the arrangements recently made with regard to the police force at Naas, county Kildare, were sanctioned by Government. The extra force in this case was provided for as far as possible from the county, but it was necessary to supply a few men from other counties, for which a charge will be made. The Department of Agriculture are taking steps to secure increased food production during the coming season, by requiring occupiers to till an increased percentage of their land. As the hon. Member is aware, the question of the purchase and resale of estates is deferred owing to financial conditions due to the War.