asked the Chief Secretary whether, before the treaty, an agreement was come to between the Government and certain contractors in Ireland for the erection of ex-service men's cottages in that country; whether it was arranged that ex-service men were to be employed and subsequently to live in certain of the cottages; and whether any arrangements have been made whereby this understanding will be carried out?
The answer to the first and fourth parts of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the arrangement was that ex-service men should be employed as far as possible in the construction of these cottages, and this was, in fact, done, but there was no contractual obligation requiring none but ex-service men to be employed. As regards the third part of the question, the selection of ex-service men to live in the cottages was made on other grounds than the fact of their having been employed on their construction.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether in fact any ex-service men have had houses let to them, or are out of employment?
I said that an arrangement has been made, and, I understand, will be carried out.
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that it is carried out?
No, Sir, I cannot, having regard to the general disturbed state of Ireland, but I have no doubt whatever the Provisional Government will enable us to carry out our obligations in Ireland to these men, and all arrangements will be made to that end.