§ MR. GINNELL (Westmeath, N.)
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury if he can hold out any hope that the net sum of £184,595 lost in connection with land purchase in Ireland, and deducted from the usual grants to local bodies, will, on further consideration, be paid to those bodies in order to avoid the necessity for immediately placing this additional burden upon the ratepayers, many of whom are not parties to the transactions; and can be undertake that no deduction of this nature will be made in respect of the current financial year.
(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The sum in question was charged on the Guarantee Fund in accordance with the terms of The Irish Land Act, 1903. It is not the case, however, that the whole sum has been deducted from the grants to local authorities. The total sum of £184,595 includes £116,308 in respect of charges for excess stock, which has been defrayed from the Ireland Development Grant. I am not in a position to make any statement as to the future.