Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Advances to Fishermen.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state (i) the total amount of repayable advances from State funds made to fishermen over the period from 1st April, 1923, to 31st March, 1943, for the purchase of boats and gear; (ii) the total amount repaid to date in respect of such advances; (iii) the total amount written off as irrecoverable, and (iv) the total amount of repayable advances still outstanding.

Loans for the purchase of boats and gear were made by the Fisheries Branch of my Department until 30th September, 1931. After that date this service was transferred to the Sea Fisheries Association. The total amount of principal and interest repayable in respect of loans issued by the Fisheries Branch from 1/4/23 to 30/9/31 was £66,832. Up to 31st March, 1950, £45,951 has been repaid and £17,113 written off as irrecoverable, leaving a balance outstanding of £3,768. The position of the Sea Fisheries Association as at 31st March, 1950, vis-a-vis the Exchequer, in regard to advances made since 1st October, 1931, is shown in Appendix 12 in the Report on Sea and Inland Fisheries for the year 1949.