HC Deb 13 November 1912 vol 43 cc1976-7

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that the Development Commisioners have allocated to Ireland Grants from the Development Fund amounting to about one-fourth of the whole amount hitherto appropriated to various purposes in the United Kingdom, whereas on a population basis she would be entitled to one-eleventh and on a taxation basis to one-seventeenth only, and that English agriculturists are complaining of such allocation, the Government will ask the Commissioners to apportion the fund on a more rational basis as between the different parts of the United Kingdom?


I understand that in making their recommendations the Development Commissioners have guided themselves by the merits of the applications before them, and the needs of the particular district or part of the United Kingdom concerned in relation to the funds available for the purpose to be promoted. I may remind the hon. Member that when the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909, was under discussion in this House, a proposal in apply the Development Fund to the requirements of England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in fixed proportions was negatived after full discussion. I may add that for the reasons stated on page 50 of the Commissioners' last Annual Report the advances actually recommenced during a limited period must not be taken as showing the eventual allocation of the Fund between the different parts of the United Kingdom.


I should like to ask if there is not to be any apportionment between the different parts of the United Kingdom, is there anything to prevent the, whole of the fund being given to Ireland?


The recommendation for Grants by the Treasury out of the Development Fund is entirely in the hands of the Development Commissioners themselves, and definitely placed by the House in their hands.