§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Kerry, W.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what is being done with Ireland's equivalent grant, under the Agricultural Rating Act, now two years unpaid; what is the gross amount of the fund, and what interest is paid by the Treasury upon it; and whether it will be made available for its original purpose this year!
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central:
With the permission of the House, I will reply to this question. The sums payable to Ireland under the Local Taxation (Ireland) Estate Duty Act, 1896, as the equivalent of the sums payable under the Agricultural Land Rating Act, 1896, have been paid into the Local Taxation (Ireland) Account, in accordance with the directions contained in the first-mentioned Act. The 728 aggregate transfers to date are in respect of the year 1896–97, £74,969; and in respect of the year 1897–98, £24,099. The Treasury do not pay interest upon this fund. But in view of the necessity which has arisen to abandon the allocation this year of the money in question, the Bank of Ireland have recently, at the request of the Irish Government, consented to transfer the money into a separate account, upon which deposit rates of interest will be allowed. It is not possible to allocate the money this year.
§ MR. J. DILLON (Mayo, E.,)
asked whether it was to be understood that the Government had finally decided to refuse to make up to Ireland her proper share of the fund.
§ *MR SPEAKER
Order, order. The hon. Member's Question does not arise out of the right hon. Gentleman's answer.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Perhaps I may be allowed to say that of course the £74,969 was paid for the year ending Lady Day last. None of it has been paid during the course of the present year.