Commissioners of Loan Fund Board of Ireland: second annual report

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4 SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE humble, to another class in the same district, and retaining sixpence in the pound sterling, as interest on all Loans, any surplus profit made by the Society, being applicable to charitable purposes. 
The Managing Committee is formed of the clergy and resident gentry who act gratuitously, and whose benevolent and disinterested labours, procure for them the good-will of all classes. 
The net profit again, is either appropriated towards the support of a Dispensary, or School, or in clothing the Poor, or for purchasing fuel for them at inclement seasons ; also, for the most important and beneficial pur¬ pose, of supplying the poor Agriculturists with the best description of seed, at prime cost. 


And in cases where it is not so distributed, the profit is added to the stock of the Society, and increases the fund from which loans are granted. 
The Board, however, strongly recommend, that the net profit should be at ail times periodically distributed among local charitable objects, and not be added to the stock. 
They further recommend, that each Society should limit its operations to a district, not so extensive as to exclude some personal knowledge of the population by the managing committee; as a provision to this eifect, would be not only a check on undeserving bor¬ rowers, but also induce the formation of new Societies for the encouragement of the industrious. 
The stock of each Society being made up of deposits from many individuals living on the spot, the Managers are under the vigilant observation of these depositors, who can, should impropriety appear, at once call in the whole amount; but this check is weakened in proportion as the funds of the Society-are composed either of accumulated profits, or of any other money not subject to a similar control. 
No grants or loans from public or private sources, have yet been received by the Board for defraying its own expenses, or for promoting the extension of Loan Societies; but the high rate of interest has hitherto brought out a sufficiency of capital for Loan Fund purposes, in most districts. 
In several cases indeed, more has been offered than could be accepted with benefit; and the Board are of opinion, that the prosperity of the system is in no small degree attributable to the Societies being upheld by their own resources and exertions. 
On referring-to the Appendix it will be seen, that many parts of the country, and Dublin in particular, have not availed themselves of the advantages afforded by institutions of this kind. 
And not a few.Societies 
still continue to work under Acts of Parliament now repealed, without being aware that they thereby can have no legal right to recover their loans, if the rates of interest charged by them, are the same as those sanctioned by the Loan Fund Act. 
A return of Societies connected with the London Reproductive Loan Fund, was received from the Directors, and is printed in the Appendix. 
Several of these have of their own accord registered themselves under the statutes relat¬ ing to this Board, and statements of their accounts are accordingly annexed. 
In the accompanying statement, the amount circulated is obtained by reducing to shillings the Interest received from borrowers, and doubling such sum. 
The average number of persons in a family in Ireland, is about five, and the borrowers from Loan Societies are chiefly married persons. 
The number of borrowers daring the past year has been 352,469, and if this be multiplied by only four to a family, it shows that no less than 1,409,876 persons of all ages, have been benefited by the sura of two hundred and six thousand, four hundred and seventy-five pounds, sixteen shillings and eight pence distributed in loans, actually circulating eight hundred and sixteen thousand, four hundred and seventy-three pounds, yielding a gross profit of twenty-nine thousand, nine hundred and thirty-two pounds,six shillings and five pence half¬ penny, and a net profit of eleven thousand and forty-seven pounds, six shillings. 
These self-sustaining Institutions are yet in their infancy; but the details now exhibited, fully warrant the Board in expecting the happiest results to follow from their continued extension. 

J)nblm Castle, July 18,1840. 
Mathews, Secretary.