§ MR. PATRICK M'HUGH
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the charges for interest and repayment of principal on loans to tenants advanced by the Board of Works, Ireland, amount to £7 10s. per cent. per annum; and will he, in view of the straitened circumstances of tenant farmers in Ireland, consider the advisability of extending the period for repayment of those loans, so as to give immediate relief to the occupiers of agricultural holdings without entailing any pecuniary loss on the Treasury?
§ MR. HANBURY
Tenants' loans are repayable by an annuity of 6½ per cent. per annum for 22 years (covering interest at about £3 8s. per annum) unless the tenant desires to pay within a shorter period, when he has the 1045 option of increasing the amount of the annual instalments to such an amount as will repay the loan in the period selected by him. No loan is granted unless the estimated value of the anticipated improvement to be derived from the works is greater than the annuity. As the hon. Member is aware, the general question of the rate of loans is now under the consideration of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.