§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he could state, or lay upon the Table as an Unopposed Return, as an addition to Parliamentary Paper, No. 283 (22nd June, 1893), what was the rate of interest of the British and Irish Debts, respectively, at the time of the Union, unredeemed at 5th January, 1801, and at the time of the amalgamation of the British and Irish Exchequers in 1817, and the gross amount paid in each of those years to defray the interests of the British and Irish Debts respectively?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE, Edinburgh, Midlothian)
I believe that the information the hon. Member desires is already before the House, and he will find it in the Return No. 443, 1858. I think the hon. Member will find there all he desires to know; but if it is not so, I should be sorry to have a Return framed after the notice that has been given, for it would tend to support the idea that Ireland was responsible for a certain amount of the National Debt at the period of the Union, imposed, I might almost say, fraudulently upon her, unfortunately with the assent and support of the British Government.
§ MR. BARTLEY
May I ask whether it is not a fact that it has always been regarded that the amount referred to in the Return mentioned was, in the opinion of statesmen of the time of the Union, the Debt of Ireland, as compared with the Debt of England?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
No doubt, as a matter of account, the amount referred to stood as the Debt of Ireland at the time of the Union.