HC Deb 13 May 1897 vol 49 cc386-7

On behalf of the hon. Member for Dublin, St. Patrick (Mr. FIELD), I. beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why the Treasury, through the Board of Public Works for Ireland, require a fine of about £1,752 in consideration of accepting from the Blackrock Township Commissioners repayment at three months' notice of the outstanding balance of their loans (amounting to £12,084) instead of receiving that repayment by instalments spread over a number of years, pursuant to the literal terms of the mortgages under which these loans were obtained, and which do not contain any such condition as that which the Board of Works are now seeking to impose; and, whether this is a condition introduced recently and since the Black-rock Township Commissioners borrowed any of the sums of money which they now seek to repay?


The sum mentioned is in no sense a fine, but merely the difference between the par value and the current market price of the Local Loans Stock. The Blackrock Commissioners have borrowed from the Board of Works, within the last nine years, various sums which it was distinctly stated in the mortgages, as the question admits, should be repaid by periodical instalments spread over 15 to 50 years. They ask to be allowed to break these contracts at a cost of nearly 15 per cent, of the capital value to the lenders—the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. In the case of all loans, whether in England, Scotland or Ireland, it has been the rule of the Treasury since the end of 1895 to protect the taxpayer by refusing to allow premature repayment at a price far below the market value of the stock.