§ Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked the Chief Secretary whether any and, if so, how many public bodies in Ireland have borrowed money in the open market, and to what extent, for the purpose of building labourers' or artisans' dwellings; whether he will state the terms in each case, giving the interest, date repayable, and the provision, if any, for sinking fund; and whether he will state the extra cost on the local rates per cottage over and above the amount chargeable when cottages were built out of moneys advanced through the Estates Commissioners, assuming the weekly rent chargeable to the occupier to be the same in both cases?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Sixty-two rural district councils have obtained loans in the open market, the total amount so borrowed being £111,139 5s. With few exceptions these loans have been obtained at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum for periods ranging from one to thirty years, repayable by equal instalments of principal with interest on the balance outstanding. Generally speaking, these loans were either supplemental loans for completing schemes or for the purchase of additional allotments. It would be impossible to state definitely the extra cost on the rates per cottage, but it may be taken that the extra charge would be represented by the difference in the rate of interest charged by the Land Commission, 2¾ per cent., and the rate, 4 per cent., usually charged by other lenders, plus the Government Grant-in-Aid 1015W of 36 per cent. of the loan. In the case of the provision of artisans' dwellings by municipal authorities under the Housing of the Working Classes Acts, the Local Government Board have no precise information as to the extent of borrowing in the open market, and the figures could only be obtained, if at all, by circularising the local authorities in question. No loans have been advanced by the Estates Commissioners for the erection of houses in urban areas under the Housing of the Working Classes Acts.