HC Deb 22 March 1922 vol 152 cc495-6W
Colonel NEWMAN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, having regard to the fact that under the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill the whole of the financial provisions of The Government of Ireland Act, 1920, so far as they relate to that portion of Ireland outside Northern Ireland, are to be annulled, including Irish contributions to Imperial expenditure, existing public loans, the Irish Church Fund, and the Joint Exchequer Board, he will say if the alternative arrangements which it may be necessary to make will be the subject of joint discussion and agreement between the Governments of Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and of Great Britain; and, having regard to the difficulty that will be experienced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in any of the Governments in framing his Budget until an agreement is reached, will he say if these financial arrangements will be discussed before a decision is taken by the Irish electorate as to the accepting or rejecting of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill?


It is clearly necessary that the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland should be discussed and settled at as early a date as possible; but in view of the fact that until the Bill for establishing the Free State has become law, it cannot be constitutionally and legally known what action if any is going to be taken by Northern Ireland under Article 12 of the Treaty, it is clear that a final settlement cannot be reached at the time suggested by the hon. and gallant Member.