§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ EARL STANHOPE
My Lords, this also is very nearly an annual Bill, although the last occasion on which such a Bill came before your Lordships was two years ago. Whenever the Public Works Loan Commissioners come to the end of their money they have to come before Parliament to get a new Bill. This Bill is to enable the Public Works Loan Commissioners to advance sums to borrowers out of the Local Loans Fund to a total of £18,000,000. When that comes to an end I imagine that Parliament will again be asked to pass another Bill of this character. That is the main purpose of the Bill, as provided for in Clause 1. In Clauses 2 and 3 power is taken to write off bad debts which, in the case of Clause 2, will be repaid to the Public Works Loan Commissioners by the Exchequer, and the Exchequer has power to recover where that is possible. In Clause 3 a further stage is taken in that a debt is written off altogether, together with outstanding interest for the past two years. The debt is due from the Fishery Board for Scotland. It is not desired that that body, already not very flush of funds, should have to find this money. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Earl Stanhope.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.