HC Deb 05 December 1890 vol 349 cc661-3
MR. KEAY (Elgin and Nairn)

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether in the event of the whole amount of money provided for loans to tenant-purchasers under the Purchase of Land and Congested Districts (Ireland) Bill being advanced (a) immediately after the passing of the Act; (b) within five years; or (c) within 10 years after the passing of the Act; each year's recoveries being continually re-lent, as provided by Clause 6 (3), he will state, in all three cases, the total amount of the normal annuities which will be due to Government from all the tenant-purchasers on the fortieth year of the operation of the Act, and the total amount of the Guarantee Fund for that year which will exist as security for the amount thus due; and if the result be to show a deficit in the Guarantee Fund on that year, as compared with the corresponding instalment of annuities which will be due on the same occasion, will he give the aggregate of all the annual deficits which will obtain during the whole 49 years under the same conditions?


It would take some time to work out in detail the various calculations suggested in the question of the hon. Member; but as I understand that those calculations are suggested with a view of testing the financial soundness of the Government scheme, I may inform him that it is impossible that its security could be affected by any process of re-lending, for under no circumstances could the amount advanced exceed 25 years' purchase of the annual Imperial contribution, plus the actual amount of the Sinking Fund.


As the matter is one of extreme importance, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman or the First Lord of the Treasury whether, if the Government have not been able to make a calculation, they will be good enough to examine one which I have prepared, and which is at present in the hands of right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench. The result of that calculation shows that there will be absolutely uncovered loans to the extent of £25,000,000 sterling.


I do not think the hon. Gentleman will expect me to express an opinion as to the result of a calculation which I have not seen. I can hardly set myself up as a Court of Appeal from the hon. Member upon such a question.


It is a very important question, and the right hon. Gentleman must know that the Sinking Fund is the taxpayers' money and not a Guarantee Fund at all. May I ask him whether, if on examination he finds there is the large deficit I allege—[Cries of "Order!"]


The question the hon. Gentleman is now putting is not a legitimate one.

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