Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Agricultural Credit Corporation Loans.

asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the conditions under which loans are granted by the Agricultural Credit Corporation do not provide reasonable credit facilities for the people engaged in the agricultural industry; whether it is not possible to provide long-term loans at a rate of interest lower than 6 per cent. and whether he will consider the necessity and advisability of amending the Act under which this body carries on its business to empower them to provide long-term loans at current and reasonable rates of interest.

I am not prepared to agree that the conditions under which loans are granted by the Agricultural Credit Corporation do not provide reasonable credit facilities for the people engaged in the agricultural industry. The rate of interest at which loans are granted is primarily a matter for the Corporation, but it should be pointed out that the Government are at present assisting the Corporation to make advances for special schemes at a rate less than their standard rate. I am not aware that anything in the Acts under which the Corporation carries on its business deters it from granting loans at rates of interest which it considers fair and reasonable, having regard to all the interests concerned.