HC Deb 27 June 1845 vol 81 cc1316-7
Mr. J. O'Connell

put the following question to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—Whether the Government will take into consideration the propriety of adding to the statement of the Expenditure of the United Kingdom, given in the Finance Acccounts of each year, a special statement of the local expenditure of Ireland; that is, of all disbursements out of the revenue of Ireland, of whatever nature they may be, and a statement of the balance remitted to England? Also, whether the Government will take into consideration the propriety of establishing some means of registry, for statistical purposes, of the nature, quantity, official and real values of all articles of traffic passing between Great Britain and Ireland; and thus supply a deficiency much complained of by the Irish Railway Commissioners of 1838; by Mr. Porter, in his Progress of the Nation; and by others employed officially, or otherwise, in inquiries relative to the statistics of the United Kingdom?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, that the hon. Gentleman was probably aware that the form of the annual financial accounts as rendered to the House was that which was settled after the union of the Exchequers of Great Britain and Ireland, and continued up to the present period. The greater portion of the information desired by the hon. Gentleman in a separate form was contained in those accounts. To alter their form he thought would be attended with great inconvenience, as it was a great advantage to have the opportunity of making a comparison of one year with another. If any additional details were desired by the hon. Gentleman, he should be happy to grant them. Respecting the second question, he was not at all disposed to deny that for some statistical purpose such an account as the hon. Gentleman wished for might be advantageous; but, in order to make it so, it should be accurate, and, in order to make it accurate, it should be taken at the Custom-house, a step which would at once deprive Ireland of the benefit of having her trade with this country upon the footing of a coasting trade. It did not appear to him that the statistical advantage would compensate for the real evil that would result.