COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - MONEY RESOLUTION—SHANNON ELECTRICITY BILL.

I move:—

Chun críche aon Achta a rithfar sa tSiosón so chun a údarú agus a shocrú go ndéanfidh an Stát Leictreachas a geinfar le huisce-chomhact a gheobhfar o uiscí Abha na Sionainne agus go roinnfidh agus go soláthróidh an Stát an leictreachas a geinfar amhlaidh agus chun nithe eile a bhaineas leis an méid sin no a eireoidh le n-a linn no as, go bhfuil sé oiriúnach a údarú—

That, for the purpose of any Act of the present Session to authorise and provide for the production by the State of electricity generated by means of hydraulic power derived from the waters of the River Shannon and for the distribution and supply by the State of the electricity so generated and for other matters incidental thereto or arising in the course thereof or in connection therewith, it is expedient to authorise—

(a) go n-íocfar amach as an bPrimh-Chiste no as a thora fáis agus isteach i gciste fé leith a bunófar fén Acht san roimhíocanna ná raghaidh thar suim chúig milleon, dhá chéad agus deich míle punt chun íoctha na gcostaisí fé n-a raghfar chun an tAcht san do chur in éifeacht, agus

(a) the payment out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof into a separate fund established under such Act of advances not exceeding the sum of five millions, two hundred and ten thousand pounds to defray the expenses incurred in carrying such Act into effect, and

(b) go gcuirfear ar an bPrímhChiste no ar a thora fáis Muirear colna agus úis aon urraíochtaí a tabharfar amach chun iasachtaí d'fháil fén Acht san.

(b) the charge upon the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof of the principal and interest of any securities issued for the purpose of borrowing under such Act.

This resolution is meant to cover the two charges on the Central Fund, for which provision is made in Clause 11 of the Bill. The first charge is that referred to in sub-clause (1) and sub-clause (5) of Clause 11. The second charge refers to sub-clause (8) of Clause 11. The first charge provides for the meeting of advances to the total amount of £5,210,000, which may be required to finance the scheme generally. These advances from the Central Fund are to be paid into a separate fund to be established for the purposes of the scheme. All the financing of the scheme will be directed to the Central Fund, the amount of which will be kept in detail so as to afford a clear understanding of the financial standing of the scheme. The second charge relates to such borrowing as the Exchequer may have to incur in order to find the sums required by the separate fund. The principal and interest on securities created for the purpose of such borrowing must be charged on the Central Fund, and the present provision is consequently rendered necessary.

I would like to have some information on this subject. We are asked to guarantee under subhead (b) the principal and interest on any securities issued. Have the Government formed any estimates— have they entered into any agreement as to what interest this loan will bear? We shall need a loan, either public or private, in order to carry out this scheme. Has any estimate been formed as to the rate at which we are going to borrow under this loan? Before we pass this resolution, I suggest we should have information on this point.

There is no specific information. I take it that the interest will bear a very close relation to what we have already had to pay in a matter of the issue of the National Loan.

You mean 5¼ per cent.?

Something like that. In the event of a more favourable financial market arising in the meantime it may be possibly lower. Question put and agreed to. Resolution ordered to be reported.