asked the Minister of Agriculture what are the duties of the Agricultural Land Service of his Department; whether any of these are also carried out by the advisory services; and what increased activities explain the need for a 100 per cent. increase in staff.
The main duties of the Agricultural Land Service, many of which are undertaken in conjunction with county agricultural executive committees, are: advice on estate management; acquisition of land; management of land, including that under the control of the Agricultural Land Commission; work in connection with Parts II and V of the Agriculture Act, 1947, and the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1948; advice on the agricultural aspects of land use; smallholdings; hill farming improvement schemes; marginal land schemes; field drainage and water supply schemes; agricultural building licences. None of these duties is carried out by the National Agricultural Advisory Service. The Agricultural Land Service was only set up in February, 1948, and could not be expected to be fully staffed in the first year.