§ MR. BLAKE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the Treasury will carry out the undertaking given in 1884 to the Member for the county of Waterford by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary to the Treasury that interest would be allowed on the unexpired balances of the two hundred and fifty thousand pounds granted out of the Irish Church Fund for the construction of fishery piers and harbours; and, if so, taking into consideration the great distress existing at various places along the coast, especially at Achill Island, owing to want of employment, the Treasury will, by a Minute, authorise the Piers and Harbour Commissioners to proceed at once to allocate the money derivable from the interest for the construction of piers and harbours in the distressed localities, so as to employ the people on reproductive works?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER)
The question of allowing interest on the extended balances of the £250,000 granted out of the Church Fund for Fishery Piers and Harbours was raised by the hon. Member for Waterford in 1884; and, in reply, the then Secretary 1887 to the Treasury stated that the matter was being, and would be, carefully considered, and he thought favourably considered, but that no action was possible at the time, as legislation would be required if the suggestion were adopted. No actual promise was given that interest would be allowed. As regards the present state of the question, I have to state that no decision has yet been arrived at, and that it will be necessary, before deciding it, to consider very seriously the present condition of the Irish Church Fund, and its ability to bear any further charges.