§ (1) The expenses of the corporation in the execution of this Act shall be defrayed out of the rate or fund applicable to the purposes of the Public Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878 to 1907, and the corporation may 1258 borrow for any of the purposes of this Act in like manner as they may borrow for the purposes of those Acts, but money so borrowed shall not be reckoned as part of the debt of the corporation within the meaning of the limitation on borrowing imposed by Sub-section (2) of Section two hundred and thirty-eight of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878.
§ (2) The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland may lend money to the corporation for any of the purposes of this Act in like manner as they may lend money for the purposes of the Public Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878 to 1907.
§ (3) The validity of the proceedings of the corporation in the execution of this Act shall not be questioned on the ground solely that the requirements of any standing order of the corporation have not been complied with.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I beg to move, at the end of the Clause, to insert the following new Sub-section:(4) Where a loan is made to the corporation for the purposes of this Act—I understand that the Chief Secretary has no objection to this Amendment, but before it is put from the Chair I should like to say that there is a precedent for almost every one of these proposals. The first proposal (a) finds a precedent in the 1259 Town Planning Act passed by the Government a few years ago. There is also a similar Section in an Act of 1908. It is only common sense. There are various precedents to support it. The third proposal (c) provides for a maximum period of repayment of eighty years. That is provided in one of the Housing of the Working Classes Acts passed for England, and in the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Act, 1908. The references to the two Sections of the Public Health Act, 1878, are explained in this way: Section 238 provides for a period of sixty years for repayment of loans advanced for permanent works. Section 246 provides for a period of fifty years in case of loans for other works. The proposal is that these provisions shall not stand in the way of the provision that there is to be a maximum period of eighty years for repayment. I think that the right hon. Gentleman has already accepted, on Clause 3, a proposal similar to the next proposal (d). The last of the proposals (e) finds a precedent both in the Town Planning Act and the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1908, and I think also in the Housing of the Working Classes Act passed for England.
- (a) the loan shall be male at the minimum rate for loans out of the Local Loans Fund at the time of the advance;
- (b) during the period of repayment the rate of interest shall vary from time to time so as to correspond with the minimum rate for the time being allowed for loans out of the Local Loans Fund;
- (c) the loan may be made for such period not exceeding eighty years as may be sanctioned by the Local Government Board, and the periods in Sections two hundred and thirty-eight and two hundred and forty-six, respectively, of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, shall be extended accordingly;
- (d) Any balance of any such loan outstanding at any time may be repaid by the corporation on giving six months' notice in writing to the lenders of the same;
- (e) The extension of the period of repayment shall not be a ground for increasing the rate of interest."
§ Mr. DUKE
The hon. and learned Member correctly anticipates my attitude towards this proposal. I will accept the Amendment, except Sub-section (b). We have dealt with the subject of fluctuating interest by giving the successive borrowers, the corporation, and the other borrowers, power to repay. I find that it is regarded in public Departments as quite impracticable to have a loan of large amount such as is here in question at fluctuating rates of interest. For that reason, and because we have provided for the repayment of balances, I am not able to accept Sub-section (b) but I am content to accept the remainder of the hon. Member's Amendments.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I am bound to say that I think that the right hon. Gentleman is correct, because there was a similar Amendment before which I declined to move, as the provision regarding redemption had been accepted. I think that this is consequential on that. I will, therefore, with the leave of the House, withdraw paragraph (b).
§ Paragraph (b), by leave, withdrawn.
§ Proposed Sub-section, as amended, there inserted.