§ MR. KEAY (Elgin and Nairn)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to insert in the Purchase of Land and Congested Districts (Ireland) Bill any provisions fixing a maximum beyond which land stock cannot be issued, as was done in the Ashbourne Acts; whether, as the Bill now stands, the maximum amount to be issued could be doubled by doubling the annual Imperial contributions and grants to Ireland; and whether there is any precedent for providing by Act of Parliament for the issue of Stock to an amount unnamed?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
Of course, the hon. Member is aware that there is a maximum in one sense in the Bill, namely, 1624 the maximum of 25 times of the Guarantee Fund; but there is no other maximum. I am not aware that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary proposes to introduce one. As the Bill stands, no doubt the maximum amount may be increased as the Imperial contributions increase; but I do not think that the suggestion that the Government should double the annual Imperial contributions and grants to Ireland is within the range of practical politics. Of course, it will be open to any future Parliament to limit a sum if the contributions are increased. I have not had time to examine the third point raised by the hon. Member.