§ MR. GILHOOLY (Cork Co., W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will explain why a tenant farmer in Ireland, the Poor Law valuation of whose holding is £7, could obtain a loan of £50 from the Board of Public Works for the improvement of his holding two years ago, but cannot now obtain more than £21?
§ * THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT,) Oldham
it is true that for a certain period anterior to 1891 a tenant-farmer could have obtained a loan of £50 on a farm valued or judicially rented at £7, but this under conditions. The highest loan permitted since 1891 was £35, or five times the valuation or judicial rent, and a loan to that amount can still be obtained on a £7 holding if one of three conditions is fulfilled, namely: (I) If the landlord postpones rent to the Board's loan; (2) if satisfactory collateral security is offered; (3) if the rent is so low as to be virtually nominal. If none of these conditions are fulfilled, the limit of the loan would be three times the valuation or judicial rent, but, as the minimum loan permitted under the Land Law Act is £35, no loan of £21 could be granted.
§ MR. SEXTON
Is it not inadvisable that the Irish people should be allowed to suffer owing to the action which the House of Lords have taken. Can the right hon. Gentleman afford the House an opportunity of considering the question?
§ SIR J. T HIBBERT
We have been anxious to secure an amendment of the law by which the loan could be secured on the holding in view of the possibility of evictions.
§ MR. GILHOOLY
Were the alterations made in the conditions under which loans are now granted to Irish tenant farmers sanctioned by any change in the law?