§ MR. J. G. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the remarks of His Honour Judge Webb in dismissing, at the Donegal Winter Sessions on the 9th instant, an action for the recovery of £10 on a promissory note, brought by the Loan Fund Society against William Travers, who had by a system of double interest recovered fines, costs paid to the Loan Fund Society £25 on foot of the original loan of £10 for which he was sued; whether he had observed that the learned 192 Judge stated that probably half a million of money is dependent upon various questions with regard to these societies which have evaded the Act of Parliament; whether the Chief Secretary has been able to fulfil the undertaking given by him towards the close of the last Session that he would investigate the serious charges brought against the administration of the Loan Fund Board; and, whether he has devised any remedy for the abatement of the illegal exactions and oppression to which the people have been subjected by the loan fund system?
§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Special Committee appointed last year to inquire into the administration of the Loan Fund Board and loan funds has yet made its report; whether the report will be presented to Parliament; and when; and whether the Government intend to take any and what steps in the matter?
§ THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR IRELAND
In reply to this question and the question standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for East Donegal, my attention has been directed to a newspaper report of the observations of the learned Judge in the case referred to. The Committee appointed by the Loan Fund Board last year to inquire into the administration of the Charitable Loan Funds has completed its investigations and made a report to the Board, who have the report under their consideration, and are in consultation with their legal advisers as to proposed reforms in the administration. Until the Government have received the suggestions of the Loan Fund Board it would be premature to state the intentions of the Government. I do not think that the report can, with propriety, at the present stage be presented to Parliament.