This amendment was put up by the Treasury, the Finance Department. It involves the deletion of Article 73 and to substitute the following new Article.—
"Nothing in this Constitution shall affect any liability to pay any tax or duty payable in respect of the financial year current at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution or any preceding financial year, or in respect of any period ending on or before the last day of the said current financial year, or payable on any occasion happening within that or any preceding year, or the amount of such liability; and during the said current financial year all taxes and duties and arrears thereof shall continue to be assessed, levied and collected in like manner in all respects as immediately before this Constitution came into operation, subject to the like adjustments of the proceeds collected as were theretofore applicable; and for that purpose the Executive Council shall have the like powers and be subject to the like liabilities as the Provisional Government.
"Goods brought during the said current financial year from the Irish Free State to any part of the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man, or from any part of the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man to the Irish Free State shall not, except so far as the Executive Council may otherwise direct in respect of the forms to be used and the information to be furnished, be treated as goods exported or imported as the case may be.
"For the purpose of this Article, the expression `financial year' means, as respects income tax (including super-tax) the year of assessment, and as respects other taxes and duties the year ending on the thirty-first day of March."
That Article is put up to ensure continuity in the collection and in the payment of taxes. The gist of it simply is that the liabilities to the British Government become liabilities to the first Government of the Free State, and continue to run until the current financial year runs out, which will be on the 31st March next. Amounts properly due to the British Government become due to the first Irish Government under this Constitution. If there are any questions desired to be raised on this particular Article, no doubt the Minister for Finance will answer them.