HC Deb 26 October 1932 vol 269 cc992-3W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether in view of the breakdown in negotiations between His Majesty's Government and the Government of the Irish Free State, he will consider the advisability of referring the dispute to the League of Nations?


As I have made clear in the House on previous occasions, the view of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is that it would not be appropriate that questions in dispute between Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations should be referred to bodies or organisations outside the British Commonwealth.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how much money has been advanced by the British Government under the Land Purchase Acts since 1885 to tenant farmers in Ireland to enable them to purchase their lands under these Acts; how much money had the British Government to guarantee under the Land Acts passed in the Irish Free State, namely, the Land Acts of 1923, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1931; and how much money is now due and payable to the British Government for the various advances under all these Acts, having regard to the amounts paid by the tenant purchasers in the Irish Free State through the Sinking Fund included in the Annuities payable by them under all these various Acts?


The total amount advanced in the whole of Ire- land under all the Irish Land Purchase Acts from 1885 to 1925, including the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, 1906 and 1911, and the Northern Ireland Land. Act, 1925, was £132,858,456. Of this total of £132,858,456, advances of £9,992,536 under the Irish Land Purchase Acts, 1885–1888, were made from the Local Loans Fund. The outstanding liability for the repayment of advances from this fund in the Irish Free State, both for land purchase and otherwise, was commuted in 1926 for an annuity of £600,000 payable by the Irish Free State Government for 20 years. It is not possible to attribute a definite part of this annuity to the advances for land purchase. A half-yearly payment of £300,000 due on 1st July last is in default. The balance of the advances under the Land Purchase Acts—£122,865,920—has, it is estimated, been reduced by the operation of Sinking Funds to £97,233,052 of which sum £76,443,000 is attributable to the Irish Free State. The payments due from the Irish Free State for interest and Sinking Fund are about £3,000,000 a year. Payments amounting to £1,483,000 due in June and August last are in default. The amount of the Irish Free State 4½ per cent. Land. Bonds guaranteed by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom outstanding on 31st March was £24,226,509.