HC Deb 07 June 1880 vol 252 cc1332-3

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the Government will consider the advisability of granting a sum of money annually to the Board of Works, to supplement the amount already at their disposal, for loans to fishermen; and, whether such loans have not hitherto been for the most part punctually repaid?


The Treasury will, of course, be ready at any time to consider any proposal that may be made by hon. Members interested in the Irish Fisheries for the development of those Fisheries; but I must own that I do think there are very grave objections to lending money in small sums, on the security of promissory notes, out of the Consolidated Fund. In five years up to December, 1879, 1,420 loans to fishermen were advanced, amounting to £25,212, the re-payments in the same time amounting to £15,424. The loans in arrear at the close of the period named were 254 in number, and the arrears amounted to £631, or about 4 per cent, on the sums which which had become due. The failures to pay have shown a tendency considerably to increase. In the last Report of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries presented to Parliament, an opinion is expressed that, as far as an estimate could at that time be formed, the losses by default of payment would be more than provided for by the rate of interest—2½per cent—charged, and that the original fund would be preserved intact. It would, therefore, appear that at that time the Inspectors of Fisheries did not think it safe to reckon upon these transactions making any return in the shape of interest.