§ Mr. WATT
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) what money was granted in 1912 for the development of motor boats in the fishing industry in Ireland; how much of this money was actually spent; what form did it take, was it purchase of boats, purchase of motor engines, or loans to fishermen; what are the arrangements, if any, for the repayment of the sums so spent; and what are the figures estimated for the same purpose in the current year?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL
The Department's financial year expires on 31st March, and the hon. Member will probably accept particulars for the twelve months ended 31st March last, instead of those ended 31st December last. Money for the development of Irish motor-boat fishing was available from two sources, namely, the Department's Endownment Fund and the funds of the Development Commissioners. From the former, loans for the building of motor fishing boats, for the installation of oil engines in existing boats, and the provision of fishing gear were arranged for to the extent of £3,685. Of that sum only £2,369 9s. 2d. was, however, issued during the year; but in addition an amount was issued in respect of loans previously arranged for, so that the total sum actually issued in respect of motor boats during the financial year 1912–13 was £6,975 18s. 3d. The repayment of loans is secured by the promissory notes of the borrowers, and sometimes by those of sureties as well, by taking mortgages on the boats, and by the assignment to the Department of the interest in policies of insurance on the boats. In some cases part of the cost of the boat is provided by the borrowers. The Department made arrangements for the provision of instruction in the use of oil engines by partly equipping an existing technical school in Dublin so as to render it suitable for the purpose, by paying for the instruction given thereat to fishermen, and by affording instruction at sea. The Department also made arrangements for the annual inspection of the boats' engines and the execution of repairs by retaining the services of a motor engineering firm to carry out a scheme to which the fishermen contributed. The Department also assisted in providing and fitting out a hulk to serve1394W as a repair workshop, capable of being moved from port to port. Assistance in meeting insurance calls was also given to owners of motor fishing boats. Expenditure in connection with the foregoing, to-gether with some miscellaneous items, amounted during the year to £1,355 9s. 7d., of which £868 7s. came from the Development Commissioners' Funds and the balance from the Department's Endowment Fund. It is not possible to estimate the amount of the applications for loans for motor boats that may be received during the present financial year, but it is believed that the amount to be issued will be substantially less than that during the year which terminated on 31st March last. The Development Commissioners have placed £800 at the disposal of the Department with the object of assisting in the development of motor-boat fishing during the current year, for meeting the cost of annual inspections of engines, upkeep of the movable workshop, and instruction in the working of the oil engines.