HC Deb 21 July 1914 vol 65 cc269-71W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether any and, if so, what facilities are provided by the Board of Works or other Irish Department for making advances by way of loan to small farmers and cottiers for building better dwellings and out-offices, and to what extent were these facilities availed of during the year ending 31st March, 1914, and, alternatively, during the ten years ending that date?


The facilities provided by the Board of Works for advances to farmers for agricultural improvements are set out in their pamphlets of instructions to applicants, copies of which I shall transmit to the hon. Member. The following table gives the amounts of the loans for farm buildings sanctioned in each of the ten years, 1904–5 to 1913–14:—

Landed Property Improvement (Ireland) Acts. Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881.
£ £
1904–5 30,155 44,860
1905–6 29,950 31,030
1906–7 31,075 25,095
1907–8 38,615 26,000
1908–9 41,195 31,200
1909–10 50,620 30,785
1910–11 65,925 40,865
1911–12 56,900 43,020
1912–13 71,570 45,950
1913–14 90,585 46,035

The Board have no statistics showing to what extent these loans were made to small farmers, but during the last completed year about 25 per cent. of the loans were for £50 or under. In connection with the sale of estates under the Land Purchase Acts, the Estates Commissioners have sanctioned since the passing of the Act of 1903 for the erection and repair of buildings advances amounting to £173,563, repayable as part of the tenant purchasers' annuities, and £141,650 as Grants not repayable; £15,272 and £10,436, respectively, of these sums were sanctioned during the financial year ended the 31st March last. The sums so sanctioned in the preceding financial years since 1903 are given in the Annual Reports of the Estates Commissioners. The Congested Districts Board make loans to tenant purchasers of agricultural holdings, the rateable valuation of which does not exceed £7, for the erection and improvement of dwelling-houses. Loans are not made for out-offices. The conditions on which such loans are made are set out in the form of application, a copy of which I shall forward to the hon. Member. During the year ended 31st March, 1914, eighty-three loans, amounting to £3,055, were sanctioned. During the ten years ended 31st March, 1914, 401 loans, amounting to £10,985, were sanctioned. The Board also give assistance to the tenants on their own estates for the erection and improvement of dwelling-houses and out-offices. The following Return shows the amount of advances and Grants made by the Congested Districts Board for the purpose of building houses, or aiding tenants to build houses, and also for the improvement of houses on their estates since the establishment of the Board in 1891 up to the 31st March, 1914:—

County. Number of New Houses Built. Number of Houses improved by Board's Tenants with Assistance from Board. Total Amount spent on New Houses or on Improvements to Existing Houses.
By Board. By Tenant.
Donegal 62 95 259 9,009
Leitrim 5 11 11 1,349
Sligo 22 4 6 11,610
Roscommon 416 79 519 83,309
Mayo 898 861 1,039 178,863
Galway 444 198 261 102,188
Clare 18 3 28 2,497
Kerry 63 221 691 32,680
Cork (W. R.) 28 51 66 5,607
Total 1,956 1,523 2,880 £427,112

Note.—The figures for advances as distinct from free Grants are not available.