§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether a tenant in Ireland, whose valuation is £12 or under, is unable to obtain a loan from the Board of Works for the improvement of his farm; and (2) whether with a view to encouraging the smaller occupiers to improve their holdings, it would be possible to revert to the rule under which a tenant could obtain a loan to the amount of five times his poor-law valuation, or else to make it possible for tenant occupiers to obtain a smaller loan than the present minimum of £35?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT, Oldham)
The statement in the first paragraph of my honourable Friend's question is substantially correct. The risk, expense and loss under this class of loans are at present very serious, partly owing to defects in the legal process of recovery as interpreted by judicial decisions. Until this state of things is remedied, I do not think it would be right to extend the scope of these loans. My honourable Friend may perhaps recollect the failure of the attempt of the late Government to put the security on a more satisfactory basis.