§ 3. Mr. TINKER
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what is the balance of money owing to this country from the Irish Free State due to the land annuities; and what the total revenue is from the taxation of Irish Free State imports to this country?
Mr. J. H. THOMAS
The total of the payments withheld by the Irish Free State in respect of the financial years 1932–33 and 1933–34 and the first six months of the current financial year is £12,000,000, of which £7,688,000 represents the amounts due in respect of land annuities and contribution in respect of bonus and excess stock. As regards the second part of the question, I assume the hon. Member refers to duties collected under the Irish Free State (Special Duties) Act, the amount of which for the same period is £8,355,000.
§ Mr. TINKER
Have approaches been made, either from the other side or here, to settle this dispute? Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the coal trade has suffered because of the trouble between the Irish Free State and this country?
I am well aware of those difficulties, and I have more than once expressed my regret. I have also indicated on every occasion that so far as we are concerned the door is always open. The first question, which I have just answered, tends to show that the feeling on the other side is not what one would desire—I put it no higher—but I still emphasise that we are always prepared to negotiate.
§ Mr. THORNE
Does not the Minister recognise that the £8,000,000 collected from imports was paid by the consumer?
§ Mr. MABANE
Do not the replies from the Irish Parliament indicate that their view is that the money is paid by them and not by us?