§ MR. L. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for North Roscommon (Mr. J. O'KELLY), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, (1) whether he has inquired if any fund at the disposal of the Congested Districts Board is allocated to certain counties; (2) whether he is aware that, by Section 35 of the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1891, it is provided that the Irish Reproductive Loan Fund be placed at the disposal of the Congested Districts Board, with the condition that it should be applicable only in any county in which the fund was before the passing of that Act applicable; (3) could he state what was the amount of that fund applicable to the county of Roscommon; how much of it, and in what manner has it been expended; and (4) how much of the general fund of £1,500,000 from the Irish Church surplus entrusted to that Board has been expended in the county of Roscommon?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
No fund and no moneys at the disposal of the Congested Districts Board are allocated according to counties or other territorial divisions. The provisions of the 35th Section of the Act of 1891 are correctly set forth in the Question, so far as they go, but it omits to state that the Reproductive Loan Fund was 62 placed at the Board's disposal for the purposes of the Act generally, and not merely for the purposes of making loans, as formerly, under certain conditions. The hon. Member will see the position of this fund fully explained in the annual Reports of the Board which have been presented to Parliament. The total value of the fund when handed over to the Board was about £65,000; out of which a sum of £33,000 has been expended up to the present date. The expenditure has been mainly incurred in the construction of piers and boat-slips, and no portion of the fund was expended in county Roscommon. One of the counties to which the fund was applicable before it was handed over to the Board was Roscommon, but the fund was not apportioned in any way between the several counties concerned. As regards the last paragraph, no portion of the capital sum of the Church Surplus Grant has been expended in Roscommon or elsewhere, but the interest on that grant has been expended in the manner described in the annual Reports of the Board.