HC Deb 05 March 1897 vol 47 cc53-4

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that a few years ago an official of the Strabane (county Tyrone) Loan Fund, working under the Charitable Act, 6 and 7 Vict., c. 91, was convicted of embezzling the funds of the Society, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment; that more recently there have been defalcations in the funds of this Society; and that the Society, including depositors and debenture holders, have lost considerably through these defalcations; (2) whether the Government or the Loan Fund Board will recoup the Society for its losses; and (3) what steps it is proposed to take to prevent similar occurrences in future?


I am informed that the facts are substantially as stated in the first part of the Question, except that the amount ascertained to have been recently misappropriated has been repaid to the Society by one of the sureties of the defaulting official. The Loan Fund Board have, so far as I am aware, no power to recoup any Loan Society for losses arising from dishonesty or from any other cause, and I have already stated that the Government cannot accept responsibility in the matter. As regards the third paragraph of the Question, it would be impossible to give a definite answer pending further consideration of the Report of the Committee of Inquiry. Where, however, Societies of this kind are locally managed, the local managers must primarily be held responsible. Even the most careful supervision of a Central Board could not effectively secure a Society from defalcations by its officials.