Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Anglo-Irish Financial Obligations

asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been called to the reply of Mr. J. H. Thomas to a Parliamentary Question in the House of Commons, London, that up to January 17th, 1934, there had been a default by the Irish Free State to the amount of £7,063,000, and that there had been collected in special duties up to January 13th, 1934, £6,243,000, but that certain items of the default had not been made good by the United Kingdom Exchequer, and if he can state what items of the default had not been made good by the United Kingdom Exchequer, and what is the estimated amount of such items to either of the above dates.

I have seen a newspaper report of the Parliamentary Question to which the Deputy refers. As I am not in charge of the United Kingdom Exchequer, I am not in a position to furnish the information asked for. I may avail of this opportunity, however, to point out that it is incorrect to assume that the burden represented by the sum of £6,243,000 referred to in the question fell completely on the shoulders of Free State citizens.

Arising out of the Minister's reply, may I say I never suggested in my question that the Minister was in charge of the United Kingdom finances. I only wished to ask what were the amounts of repayments which have not been made good to this country by the United Kingdom Exchequer and that part of the question, I respectfully submit, has not been answered by the Minister.

I would call the Deputy's attention to the terms of this question.

"To ask the Minister for Finance if his attention has been called to the reply of Mr. J. H. Thomas to a Parliamentary Question in the House of Commons that up to the 7th January, 1934, there had been a default by the Irish Free State to the amount of £7,063,000 and that there had been collected in special duties up to January 13th, 1934, £6,243,000, but that certain items of default had not been made good by the United Kingdom Exchequer, and if he can state what items of the default had not been made good by the United Kingdom Exchequer."

I suggest that is a question that might more properly be put to Mr. Thomas. I cannot answer for what they do over there.

Quite so, but I respectfully submit the Minister for Finance ought not to be ignorant of the payments that ought to be made to this country. What I am suggesting is that when the United Kingdom suggests they are in default, in making payments to this country, the Minister for Finance in this country ought to be able to find out and take into account what payments are expected from the United Kingdom.

That is another question, and if the Deputy puts it down possibly I may be able to answer. But according to the figures given by Mr. Thomas there is quite a large amount unaccounted for—a large amount for which we shall not, in any event, be responsible.

Is it not now clear to the Minister that the people by whom these moneys are being paid to Britain consists of one section of the community—namely, the farmers——

That is a different question.

Has the Minister had to make good, in Ireland, any of the default by the United Kingdom?

Not so far.

Does he expect to have to do so?

That is another question.