§ 108. Mr. O'SHEE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland for how many of the 7,328 extra half-acres authorised under the Labourers Acts on 31st March, 1912, have advances been made or sanctioned under the Act of 1906, as amended by the Act of 1911; what is the total of such advances and for how many of such extra half-acres; what is the amount of advances applied for but refused, but 367 which the Local Government Board authorised the rural councils to borrow from banks or private lenders; and how much of that amount have such councils made arrangements to borrow from banks, and at what rates for repayment of principal and interest?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Wtih the exception of twenty-five extra half-acres, the extra half-acres referred to by the hon. Member have been provided out of loans advanced either by the Board of Works or by the Land Commission. The Local Government Board have no information as regards the total amount of the loans granted in respect of these half-acres, as the loans sanctioned under the Labourers Acts include the cost of the cottages authorised by the schemes, no separate allocations being made in respect of the cost of the extra half-acres. Loans amounting to £576 have been applied for in respect of the twenty-five extra half-acres above referred to, which the Board did not authorise to be issued on land purchase terms, but expressed their willingness to approve of the amount being borrowed in the open market. A loan of £350 has been sanctioned from a bank in respect of fifteen of these half-acres repayable in ten years at 4 per cent. per annum, but no application for a loan in the open market has yet been received in relation to the other ten.
§ Mr. SHEEHAN
Can the right hon. Gentleman state why the Local Government Board direct that the district councils shall apply in the open market for loans for the extra half-acre?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I should like to have notice of that question. I think I can give a reason why the thing is done.