HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1065-6
6. Mr. Logan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give the amount provisionally fixed as the Exchequer grant to the Northern Ireland Exchequer for 1952–53 under Section 63 of the National Insurance Act, 1946; the amount paid so far; and also the amount of old Land Annuities collected and retained by Northern Ireland Exchequer for the last financial year.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No Exchequer grants to the Northern Ireland Exchequer are made under Section 63 of the National Insurance Act. This Section enables financial adjustments to be made between the Insurance Funds of the two countries to keep them in parity. For the year 1952–53 payments on account are being made from the National Insurance Fund to the Northern Ireland Insurance Fund on the basis of the amount determined for the previous year, namely£2,200,000;£600,000 has so far been paid.

I have no information about the amount of the Land Purchase annuities collected under Section 26 (1) of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, which is a matter for the Government of Northern Ireland.

Mr. Logan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I only received this morning the figures published in Northern Ireland, and that they substantiate my remarks last week when the Financial Secretary contradicted my statement that the sum of£9 million was the amount? I find that the figure that has been audited and found to be correct in Northern Ireland is£9,628,000. I am at a loss, with debit and credit accounts, to understand the accountancy system unless I am able to get accurate figures, and I wonder if the right hon. Gentleman can confirm that£9,628,000 is accurate.

Mr. Butler

The hon. Gentleman asked about subsidies and not about the fund payment. When it is related to the fund payment, the hon. Gentleman's figure is correct.

Mr. Logan

All inclusive?

Mr. Healy

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government of Northern Ireland have received by way of grants and subsidies more than is paid by way of Imperial contribution? Is that not, in effect, an effort by this Government to make the partition of Ireland work? Otherwise we might have a united Ireland.

Mr. Butler

I think that raises a different question, but there is something in what the hon. Member says.