§ Mr. HANNON
asked the Minister of Agriculture the total expenditure to 31st March, 1924, on the motor loans operations for fishing vessels; and whether, seeing that the loss at the end of March, 1923, exceeded £36,000, there is any hope of recovering a proportion of the outstanding debts?
§ Mr. BUXTON
The total cash expenditure on motor loan operations since the scheme was initiated in March, 1917, up to the 31st March, 1924, was £163,134 19s. 7d. During this period £100,083 7s. 7d. was repaid, leaving £63,051 12s. still outstanding. It is hoped that a considerable proportion of this sum will eventually be recovered. The loss of £36,000 referred to 1773W in the hon. Member's question includes items for overhead charges, interest and insurance amounting approximately to £25,000. These were not actually paid in cash, but were included in the trading account in order to show the position of the scheme on a commercial footing. Such portion of this sum as represents cash loss on loans to fishermen is not recoverable. It should be remembered that this scheme was initiated as a war measure and continued after the War exclusively for the benefit of fishermen returning from war service.