§ MR. BARTON (Armagh, Mid)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland have received an application from the Governors of the Armagh District Lunatic Asylum for a loan of £30,000, under "The Public Works Loans Act, 1893," on the terms authorised by that Act—namely, repayment within 50 years, with interest at the rate of 3½ per cent. per annum; whether the Treasury have declined to sanction the loan on these terms, and have insisted on repayment within 40 years, with interest at the rate of 3¾ per cent. per annum; and whether it is believed at the Treasury that the Exchequer would incur any risk if the better terms authorised by the Act of 1893 were 1401 allowed in the case of the loan to the Governors of the Armagh Asylum?
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
If my hon. Friend will refer to the Act in question he will observe that the fixing of the terms of repayment is left to the Treasury within certain limits. The object of the Act was to enable the Treasury to grant loans for lunatic asylums on the same terms as were previously allowed for sanitary loans, and the words of the section are taken from the corresponding Section (246) of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, under which the terms fixed by the Treasury are:—3½ per cent. with repayment in 35 years; 3¾ percent. with repayment in 40 years; 4 per cent. with repayment in 50 years. I understand that the Irish Government are about to address the Treasury further upon the question, so that, upon the receipt of their letter, the matter will be considered afresh.