Just like the matter that we have now passed, it is almost impossible to say that one can exhaust any subject just now when, day after day, matters are coming under our notice which had not been contemplated. For example, in that last Section that we have just dealt with, there had to be corresponding action by the British. They met us fairly in regard to that, and now comes our responsibility. I am asking the Dáil to-day to take up a particular Estimate, the Land Purchase Annuities Estimate, and if I have permission to explain shortly the reason for taking this I think that Deputies will agree that it is necessary, and that any fault that there is in the matter of not having brought it on before is my own. It was understood in the Ministry of Finance that the Dáil was not adjourning this evening, that it would be continued during the week, and that it would be possible to introduce this Estimate after due notice. This Estimate is one which is concerned solely with accounting transactions, as to which no controversy can arise, and I hope that the Deputies will accept the Estimate and enable us to make the payment. The Estimate deals with Purchase Annuities payable under the existing Land Acts. The law provides that these annuities are to be collected henceforth by the Government of Saorstát Eireann, and that the proper amounts should in due course be paid into either of the Funds out of which dividends and sinking fund payments in connection with the various Land Stocks are paid. These Stocks will continue to be managed by the British Government, but it is part of the present arrangement for the adjustment of past Land Purchase transactions that we should pay over the annuities and leave it to the British Government to pay the interest to the stock-holders. Then annuities when collected are paid direct into our Exchequer as part of the miscellaneous revenue, and this Estimate when passed will enable us to make the necessary issues out of our Exchequer to the British Government. It will be seen that the figures of the Estimate are not dependent primarily upon the exercise of any discretion, but are arrived at simply by the making of proper calculations respecting the annuities actually outstanding. The reason for the urgency of this Estimate is that it is expected that it will be necessary to make a large payment to the British Government under this head before the 1st of July, as a large sum in respect of dividends on Land Stock is payable on that date. The resolution is:—
"That a sum not exceeding £3,133,577 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1924, for making repayment to the British Government in respect of annuities under the Land Purchase Acts, 1881 to 1909."