MR. O'CONNOR POWER
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If it is true that the Act authorising the issue of loans to the Irish Fisheries from the Reproductive Loan Fund is practically inoperative in the fishing districts on the coast of Mayo, and that loans which were certified for by the fishery inspectors in the district of Molranny more than two months ago have not yet been issued?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Sir, it is not true that the Act authorizing the issue of loans to Irish fishermen from the Reproductive Loan Fund is practically inoperative in the fishing districts on the coast of Mayo. The first recommendations for loans to be granted in the district alluded to by the hon. Member were forwarded to the Board of Works early last month. Forms have been issued by the Board of Works with regard to all loans recommended for County Mayo, requesting compliance with certain provisions which they deem necessary for the legal and satisfactory execution of the promissory notes for these loans, but in very few cases have replies yet been received to these forms. I may add generally that this Act has imposed upon the Board of Works and Inspectors of Fisheries novel duties, which, while the Act is being first brought into operation, make a considerable addition to their work; and however much it may be regretted that delay should occur in the issue of these loans, I think it will be admitted that the Departments concerned would fail in their duty if, in order to save time, they had neglected to make the most careful inquiry into the bonâ fides of the applications for loans, and to insure as far as possible the repayment of the money advanced.