HC Deb 17 April 1905 vol 145 cc294-5
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a number of investors in the Edgeworthstown Loan Fund Society lost their savings owing to the defalcation of a clerk; that most of these people were induced to put their money into this society by the representations made to them that this society was under the supervision of the Loan Fund Board of Dublin Castle; and that during the period that these defalcations were going on the books of the society were supposed to be audited by the Dublin Castle Loan Fund Board's inspector; and whether, seeing that the losses of these people were in part due to the ineffective control exercised by the central board, clauses will be introduced into the new Charitable Loan Fund Bill empowering the Loan Fund Board to make some grants towards the relief of the distress caused by this collapse.

(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) This loan fund society was under the supervision of the Loan Fund Board, but I am informed by the Board that the limitations of that supervision did not enable the inspector when auditing the books to detect the frauds in question, which were of such a kind as to lead to no discovery or suspicion on the part of the local trustees and managers. I am not aware that representations were made as alleged, but, if it was suggested that the Loan Fund Board is a Department of the Irish Government, the suggestion was entirely erroneous and misleading. The Board is not a Government Department, nor is the Irish Executive responsible for it. The Board have no funds for the purpose mentioned in the last inquiry, and no such clause as suggested, which would be quite in-effectual will be introduced in the Bill.