§ 11. Sir NICHOLAS GRATTAN-DOYLE
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he would be prepared to accept a. lump-sum payment in settlement of the financial dispute with the Irish Free State; and, if so, what amount?
Mr. J. H. THOMAS
As I have frequently stated and now repeat, the Government have always been prepared to consider any suggestion which may lead to a comprehensive and satisfactory settlement of the questions outstanding with the Irish Free State; but I do not think that it would conduce to the end which we desire for me to make any statement in advance in regard to any particular method of settlement. I would remind my hon. Friend that the financial matter is not the only one outstanding with the Irish Free State; there are also important political issues involved.
No door will be closed to a settlement; the position of the British Government in this matter is well understood in this country and in Ireland.
§ 16. Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will state the figures showing the tonnage of coal exports to the Irish Free State from Bristol Channel ports and from the United Kingdom for the year June, 1932, to June, 1933; and what steps he is taking regarding the loss of trade arising from the transfer of Irish orders to Continental countries?
The total tonnage of coal exported from this country to the Irish Free State for the 12 months ending the 30th June, 1933, was 1,446,631 tons, of which 2S5,601 were exported from Bristol Channel ports. As regards the 2391 second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave him on the 21st June last.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
Is it true from those figures that the exports from the Bristol Channel and from the United Kingdom have fallen to one-half of what they were in the previous year?
I have not had the opportunity of checking them, but I think it is true to say that the exports are down.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
In view of this enormous drop of more than 1,000,000 tons in exports, will the right hon. Gentleman take some steps himself to bring this dispute to an end?
My hon. Friend was not present earlier when a specific question was put to me on that question.
§ Mr. HANNON
Is it not a fact that my right hon. Friend has done everything he can in and out of season to bring this dispute to an end?