§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the practice of requiring fishermen in Ireland, who apply for loans for the purpose of purchasing gear and repairing boats, to supply sureties for advances; and whether, in view of the fact that such fishermen, on procuring sureties, could at any time obtain loans from banks or other sources, and that the boats and gear would of themselves be sufficient security, the practice or regulation referred to will be relaxed in cases in which the applicants cannot procure sureties but are of good character.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
It is the practice, in accordance with existing rules, to require applicants for loans for fishery purposes to furnish personal security. It is very doubtful if loans could be obtained from banks on such favourable terms as from the Fishery Fund. The repayment of advances from the latter is spread over a number of years, and the rate of interest charged is 2½ per cent. per annum. With regard to the suggestion that loans should be advanced on the security of the boats or gear purchased, it is to be borne in mind that a boat must be registered under the Merchant Shipping Act before a mortgage can be taken on it, and that the expense to be thereby incurred by the applicant would not be warranted unless in the case of a first-class vessel. The question, however, of the desirability of altering the existing rules so as to extend the advantages of the Fishery Fund to a larger number of fishermen is occupying the attention of the Department of Agriculture.