§ MR. KEAY (Elgin and Nairn)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will state what class or classes of money are to be paid into the Sinking Fund under the Purchase of Land and Congested Districts (Ireland) Bill; whether Her Majesty's Government have provided that this fund should perform the 705 function of a Guarantee Fund to secure the re-payment of advances; if so, what means have they provided for the redemption of the land stock in the event of the failure of tenant purchasers to meet their yearly instalments; and whether he has as yet verified the statement that the re-lendings under Clause 6 (3) will result in an unsecured liability to the country of about £26,000,000
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Sinking Fund consists of an annual sum at the rate of 1 per cent. on the nominal amount of the capital stock advanced. The Government have not provided that this fund should perform the function of a Guarantee Fund for securing the repayment of advances. There is no ground to believe that the re-lendings under Clause 6 (3) will have the result indicated in the last paragraph.
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will lay upon the Table of the House a Return, in amplification of Return No.134, based on the estimate that the original advance to be made under the Land Purchase Bill of £29,717,000 will be exhausted in 10 years by equal annual purchases of holdings, and showing what amount will be available in each year, under Clause 6, Sub-section (3), in respect of the Sinking Fund payments for re-lending, until the principal sum advanced in the first 10 years shall be paid off, and also showing what, in each year, will be the total amount of all the purchase annuities due to the Government, upon the assumption that fresh advances are yearly made to the full amount which has passed through the Sinking Fund?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman will see the difficulty of answering a question of this kind, based on a hypothetical state of things. I hardly think that any good would result from the granting of such a Return.