§ MR. BUTT
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether it is his intention to take any steps, in accordance with the 973 assurance given last Session, to apply the balance of the Irish Reproductive Loan Fund in aid of the Irish Fisheries; and, whether any other, and if so what, appropriation of that balance, or any portion of it, has been proposed to the Irish Government?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON,
in reply, said, the language he used last Session did not warrant the statement that he gave an assurance that the balance of the fund should be applied to the Irish fisheries. All he said was, there was just a possibility of its being done; but he stated that legislation would, probably, be necessary for the purpose. Having inquired further, he found that no part of that fund could be applied to this purpose without legislation. He, accordingly, made a proposition to the Treasury on the subject—in reference to the introduction of a Bill; but to his letter no official reply had as yet been received, he had, however, ascertained that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had had the subject under consideration, and he did not think it would be desirable to legislate on the subject of this fund in the limited manner suggested; indeed, he considered the whole system of the management and application of this fund highly objectionable, and that some means should be adopted for relieving the Treasury altogether from the management and application of it. The subject was now under the consideration of the Government. He was not aware that any application for a proportion of the balance had been made—certainly not to the Irish Government.