§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will say, according to the method of calculation whereby the majority of British members of the Financial Relations Commission found the net excessive taxes imposed upon Ireland in the financial year 1893–4 to have exceeded £2,500,000, what is the amount of excessive taxes taken from Ireland in the whole period from the Act of Union to the latest completed financial year?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
I have no information as to the methods of calculation adopted by the members of the Financial Relations Commission with regard to the comparative taxable capacity of Great Britain and Ireland beyond what is contained in the Reports of the Commission and their accompanying documents; nor have I been able to trace any "finding" in the terms suggested in the question. In the absence of any satisfactory criterion of comparative taxable capacity any estimate of the kind indicated in the latter part of the question would be pure conjecture.
§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Prime Minister, in view of the refusal of State Departments to furnish information regarding such economic effects of the Union as the drain of people, industries, rents, and purchase-money out of Ireland, if he will say how and when the Government propose to have estimated the amount of advantage to Great Britain and loss to Ireland under heads like these, not comprised in the reference to the Financial Relations Commission, with a view to compensating provisions in the promised measure of full self-government?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
Due weight will be attached to such considerations in framing the proposals which the Government will lay before Parliament. I doubt, however, whether any inquiry of a statistical nature could produce results sufficiently precise to form the basis of an exact arithmetical calculation.