HC Deb 09 January 1913 vol 46 cc1357-8

asked the Prime Minister whether, in order to allay the apprehension entertained in Ireland, he will definitely state whether the Cabinet regards the Land Purchase Aid Fund of £12,000,000 provided by the Land Purchase Act of 1903 as a free grant from the Imperial Exchequer; or whether, in the balance sheet between the two Parliaments, it will continue to be debited against Ireland?

49. Sir W. BYLES

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1903 undertook that the cost of the bonus provided in the Land Purchase Bill of that year would not be thrown upon Ireland, and that Parliament then legislated upon that basis; and whether this bonus charge has now been debited against Ireland in the calculation of the alleged deficit on which the Government are founding themselves in the present Government of Ireland Bill?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

As stated by my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General, this charge has always been regarded as a charge to Imperial expenditure on Irish account, as appears from the Treasury White Paper and from the Report of the Primrose Committee. But, as I stated yesterday, the matter will be taken into careful consideration by the Government in framing their proposals in regard to land purchase.