§ MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that managers of national schools in Ireland, when they desire to build residences for their teachers, have to provide sites, incur all expenses of title, produce two lay sureties under 45 years of age each holding property worth £400, keep the houses in repair after they are built at their own expense, and pay all taxes; is he aware that the rate now charged for the money advanced is 3½ per cent., though Government can borrow at 2⅛ per cent.; is he aware that the teachers in many parts of Ireland are very much in need of suitable residences; and, will he consider this matter with a view of reducing the rate of interest and removing the difficulties imposed upon managers at the present time, so as to facilitate the erection of houses for the teachers of national schools in Ireland?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
Managers who apply for loans with which to build teachers' residences have to provide sites and to bear the incidental legal expenses, including the cost of the leases, but the sureties need not be worth £400; it is sufficient if they are solvent to the satisfaction of the Commissioners. Moreover, if such a residence is vested in the Commissioners, it is maintained by the State without cost to the manager. The rate of interest charged on these loans is £3 8s. 3d.; the inquiry as to the rate at which the Government borrow money should be addressed to the Treasury. It is true, I believe, that teachers in many parts of Ireland are much in need of suitable residences. There is no limitation to the number of loans 691 that may be granted each year for such residences, and the number of applications for loans to build residences since 1875, when the Residences Act came into operation, is 1,175. I have already, in previous answers to questions on this subject, mentioned that very substantial aid is given by the Commissioners to managers in the matter of these loans by contributing one-half of the annual instalment payable in reimbursements of the loans. The borrower accordingly pays only a moiety of the annuity during the outstanding of the loan.