§ 52. Mr. GINNELL
asked whether the present Coalition Government repudiate or propose to discharge the debt of excessive taxes found by the Financial Relations Commission to be due to Ireland, and calculated by Lord M'Donnell to have exceeded £325,000,000 twelve months ago; whether his attention has been called to the fact that, although no restitution has been made, the excessive taxation of Ireland has been almost doubled in consequence of the War, the Chancellor of the Exchequer repudiating the abatements and exemptions guaranteed to Ireland by the Act of Union and the Consolidation Act of 1816, both of which Acts are still in force; whether the present Government have decided to treat those two Acts as mere scraps of paper; and, if not, what the intentions of the Government are with reference to restitution of the ascertained excess and relief in accordance with those Acts?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The statements contained in the hon. Member's question, even if they could be accepted as accurate, would raise highly debatable points of finance which, as he is aware, have been in the course of the last twenty years at various times discussed in this House. It is not possible for me to rediscuss them within the limits of an answer to a Parliamentary question.