CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - RATES OF INTEREST.

To ask the Minister for Finance if he is aware that many people owing money in Ireland, especially in the remoter parts of the country, are suffering from usurious rates of interest, amounting in very many cases to well over 100 per cent. per annum. And if, having regard both to the immorality of such proceedings, and to the injurious effects on the trade and prosperity of the country, he will consider the advisability of bringing in a short Bill at an early date, giving relief to such cases, putting private debts on a more equitable foundation, and limiting for the future the rate of interest for which private debtors may be liable.

I cannot give any undertaking in this matter at the present time. The Deputy is, no doubt, aware that the existing law makes provision in regard to harsh and unconscionable transactions in certain cases.