1.—(1) There shall be a Governor of Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, with respect to the Lord Lieutenant shall apply to the Governor of Northern Ireland and in the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 (hereinafter referred to as the Principal Act), and in any other enactment references to the Lord Lieutenant shall, in their application to Northern Ireland, be construed as references to the Governor of Northern Ireland.
(2) In Section three of the Lord Lieutenants' and Lord Chancellors' Salaries (Ireland) Act, 1832, eight thousand pounds shall be substituted for twenty thousandpounds as the salary of the Governor of Northern Ireland, and in Sub-section (3), of Section thirty-seven of the Principal Act two thousand pounds shall be substituted for five thousand pounds as the sum to be deducted towards the payment of such salary:
2.—(1) There shall be a Privy Council of Northern Ireland, and anything which, prior to the first appointment of a Governor of Northern Ireland, might be done by, to, before, or with the advice or concurrence of the Privy Council of Ireland or any Committee thereof may, as respects Northern Ireland after such appointment, be done by, to, before, or with the advice or concurrence of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland or a corresponding Committee of that Council.
(3) In the application of the Principal Act to Northern Ireland references to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland shall be substituted for references to the Privy Council of Ireland, and after the expiration of one month from the first appointment of a Governor of Northern Ireland no person shall be a Minister of Northern Ireland unless he is a member of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland.
(4) There shall be a Great Seal of Northern Ireland which shall be kept by the Governor of Northern Ireland and shall, after the first appointment of such Governor, be used for all matters in Northern Ireland for which the Great Seal of Ireland was theretofore used. Until a Great Seal of Northern Ireland is provided the private seal of the Governor of Northern Ireland may be used as that Geat Seal.
3.—(1) The constitution of the Council of Ireland shall, if identical Acts for the purpose are passed by the Parliament of the Irish Free State and the Parliament of Northern Ireland, be altered in accordance with those Acts, and it is hereby declared that the passing of such Acts is within the powers of the said Parliaments.
(2) The appointed day for the transfer in relation to Northern Ireland of the powers, which by the Principal Act are made powers of the Council of Ireland, shall be such day as may hereafter be fixed by Order in Council not being earlier than the day on which any such identical Acts as aforesaid come into operation or the expiration of the period of five years from the passing of this Act, whichever may first happen.
4.—(1) (a) The contribution to be made under Section twenty-three of the Principal Act towards the Imperial liabilities and expenditure therein referred to shall be a contribution to be made by Northern Ireland and to be called the Northern Ireland contribution, and the provisions of that Section with respect to apportionment as between Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland shall cease to have effect.
(b) The amount of the Northern Ireland contribution in each year until the end of the second financial year after the appointed day shall be a sum calculated at the rate of seven million nine hundred and twenty thousand pounds a year, or such less sum as the Joint Exchequer Board may in exercise of the powers conferred on them by Sub-section (5) of that Section substitute therefor, and those powers may be exercised at any time whether before or alter the end of the said second financial year or before or after a contribution has been made at the rate aforesaid.
(c) The Joint Exchequer Board, in determining the just proportion of Imperial liabilities and expenditure to be contributed by Northern Ireland in respect of each financial year after the end of the said second financial year shall have regard to the relative taxable capacities of Northern Ireland on the one hand and Great Britain and Ireland on the other hand.
(2) The apportionment of the proceeds of reserved taxes to be made by the Joint Exchequer Board under Section twenty-two of the Principal Act shall be an apportionment as between Great Britain and Northern Ireland instead of an apportionment as beween Great Britain and Ireland, and the sum determined under the said Section to be the Northern Ireland share of the said proceeds shall be called the Northern Ireland share of reserved taxes; and in making such an apportionment the Joint Exchequer Board shall have regard to the effect of any arrangement made with the Irish Free State for relief from double taxation which may unduly prejudice Great Britain in relation to Northern Ireland or Nothern Ireland in relation to Great Britain.
(3)—(a) The sum charged upon and payable out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom under Section twenty-four of the Principal Act, and therein referred to as the Irish residuary share of reserved taxes, shall be paid to the Exchequer of Northern Ireland and shall be called the Northern Ireland residuary share of reserved taxes, and the provisions of that Section with respect to apportionment between the Exchequers of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland shall cease to have effect, but without prejudice to the application of the principles governing such apportionment in any cases where an apportionment may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining the sums to be deducted or to be made good by means of deductions from the Northern Ireland share or residuary share of reserved taxes.
(b) In ascertaining the net cost to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom of re- served services, the Joint Exchequer Board shall have regard to any increase of expenditure thereon which may appear to them to be attributable to the establishment of the Irish Free State, and shall make such allowance in respect of any such increase as may appear to them to be just.
5. Sub-section (1) of Section thirty-two of the Principal Act, relating to the constitution of the Joint Exchequer Board shall have effect as if for the words "two members appointed by the Treasury one member appointed by the Treasury of Southern Ireland" there were substituted the words. "one member appointed by the Treasury," and any question which may be referred to the Board under that Section may be referred to them either by the Treasury or by the Treasury of Northern Ireland.
(2) In any case where under Section fifty of the Principal Act an appeal would have lain to the High Court of Appeal for Ireland from a decision of a Court in Northern Ireland an appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland by virtue of this Section. Questions under the Crown Cases Act, 1848, which would have been reserved for the decision of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland under Section forty-three of the Principal Act shall, in Northern Ireland, be reserved for the decision of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland whoso decision shall, except as hereinafter provided, be final.
(3) An appeal shall lie to the House of Lords from any decision of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland being a decision from which an appeal would have lain to the House of Lords under Section forty-nine of the Principal Act had it been u decision of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland, and that Section shall have effect accordingly with the substitution of references to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland for references to the High Court of Appeal for Ireland.
(4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this paragraph shall affect the right of appeal to the House of Lords from any decision of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland given before the date when this Schedule comes into operation, and in the case of any appeal to the High Court of Appeal for Ireland which is pending at that date the decision of the Court from which the appeal was taken shall, for the purposes of appeal to the House of Lords, be treated as if it were a decision of the High Court of Appeal for Ireland given immediately before that date.
7.—(1) The Civil Service Committee shall, instead of being constituted in the manner provided by Sub-section (2) of Section fifty-six of the Principal Act, consist of five members, of whom one shall be appointed by the Treasury, one by a Secretary of State, one by the Government of Northern Ireland, one by the existing Irish officers who have been transferred to the Government of Northern Ireland, and one (who shall be chairman) by the Lord Chief Justice of England.
(2) The powers of the Civil Service Committee (which shall hereafter be known as the Civil Service Committee for Northern Ireland) shall be exercisable in relation only to existing Irish officers who have been transferred from the Government of the United Kingdom to the Government of Northern Ireland under the Principal Act, and in relation to existing or pensioned officers of local authorities or of a university or college in Northern Ireland.
I beg to move to leave out paragraph (1, 1).
I desire once again to raise the question of the Governor of Northern Ireland, and to take a vote of the Committee as to whether this office is to be created and whether the financial liability thereby incurred is to be imposed upon the Treasury. On the different occasions on which this question has been discussed there has been no attempt on the part of the spokesman of the Government to defend the proposal on the merits. There has been no attempt to show that such an office is necessary, and there has been no justification of the expenditure which is consequential upon the establishment of the office. The only defence made by the Government is that the Premier of Northern Ireland has insisted that this office shall be created for the benefit of Northern Ireland. I can understand the motive s which led the Premier of Northern Ireland to make that request. He found that, under the arrangements of the Irish Free State Constitution, the representative of the Crown in the South of Ireland was to be virtually selected by the Government of the Free State, and Northern Ireland felt that a representative so selected would not be acceptable as the representative of the Crown in Northern Ireland, and in these conditions Northern Ireland said, "We must seek another arrangement." The first idea that occurred to their mind was that there should be a Governor. He made that request and, as I understand it, the late Government yielded to the request, and the pledge upon which the Government now found themselves was granted under those conditions.
I suggest that that consideration should not be binding either upon the Government or this House, and that we have now an opportunity of re-examining it in the light of present circumstances and of considering whether this is really the best arrangement both in the interests of Northern Ireland and of the Treasury. Another arrangement might be made which would be just as satisfactory to Northern Ireland. There is no reason why a representative of the Crown should be permanently established in Belfast. I have fortified myself with the Official Report of the Debates of the Northern Parliament, and I find there that the anticipation on the part of Members of the Northern Parliament is that that Parliament will sit for not more than three months in the year. Surely, then, it is totally unnecessary to have a representative of the Crown in Belfast during the whole year, and to pay him £8,000 a year. The main function for which the representative of the Crown is required is for the opening of Parliament or its prorogation. The services of a representative of the Crown or of a Commissioner are required for giving assent to laws passed by the Northern Parliament. These things can be performed perfectly without a representative of the Crown being permanently in Northern Ireland. Earlier to-day I mentioned that for 100 years in Scotland, from 1603 to 1707, we had a separate Parliament, and that during all that time there was no separate representative of the Crown in Scotland; we were able to dispense with him.
This idea for Northern Ireland is due partly to the analogy of the Colonies and partly to the fact that Ireland has always been accustomed to having a Viceroy in Dublin. In modern days and under present conditions we should not be led astray by these analogies. We desire to economise. There is an equal desire to economise in Northern Ireland. I have found evidence of that in the Debates of the Northern Parliament. I mentioned in the House to-day the luxurious way in which the Government of Northern Ireland is staffed. They have six Cabinet Ministers in addition to the Prime Minister, with seven Under-Secretaries and sundry other officials. Apart from this House, the Northern Irish Parliament is the only Parliament in the Empire in which there are Under-Secretaries, and all these Under-Secretaries get £1,000 a year. This munificence aroused some criticism in the Northern Parliament. It is well known that the great majority of the Members of the Northern Parliament were returned as supporters of the Prime Minister, Sir James Craig. There was a revolt on the part of his supporters. I find that when a Division took place on this matter on 1st December, 1921, the Ayes were 20 and the Noes 11, but when I analysed the figures I found that if you took from the majority the officials whose salaries were in question the Division was a tie. In view of this state of feeling in the Northern Parliament, the British Government has no right to assume that when Sir James Craig made that request he was representing the real feelings of the Northern Parliament. Therefore it is a matter for reconsideration. It is a matter upon which the Northern Parliament itself should have an opportunity of expressing an opinion. Of course, if the Northern Parliament insisted upon it, we should leave it to them to consider whether they are going to pay for this expensive and unnecessary official. Some of them may desire to have a Governor for Northern Ireland for the purpose of reducing the number of other officials.
Eloquence is not confined to the South of Ireland. No matter what we may say about partition, fluency and eloquence are characteristic, both of the North and South. I am glad to see that the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Lynn) has contributed as much eloquence to the Debates of the Northern Parliament as he has to our discussions in this House. I think that the arguments which I have put dispose altogether of the contention put forward by the Government that they are bound by some sort of pledge. But apart from that, granting that the Government is so bound, then this Committee is not so bound. This Committee can ask the Government and Parliament of Northern Ireland to reconsider the matter. It may be said that £8,000 a year is a trumpery thing. But £8,000 is a consideration in these times, and if we let every £8,000 go because it does not matter, we shall have no real economy and no reduction of the burdens on the taxpayer. There is an old saying of Mr. Gladstone, who used to be criticised and jeered at because he insisted on small economies, it was that if a Chancellor of the Exchequer was worth his salt he would look after the candle ends. £8,000 is a very substantial candle end, and it is because I regard it in that light that I move the Amendment.
I do not intend to follow the last speaker into the details of the argument which he has used. I listened to the discussion of this matter last night and earlier to-day, and I want now to put before the Committee a consideration which I do not think has been advanced hitherto by any Member. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment is a legal expert, and he will forgive me, perhaps, if I ask him to follow me through a few words of the Bill under discussion. In Sub-section (1) of Clause 1 there are these words:
The Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and other enactments mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act shall, as from the date of the presentation of such Address, have effect subject to the modification set out in that Schedule.
In other words, if Ulster votes herself out, she is to remain under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. The whole object of this Bill is to bring about that state of affairs with the necessary modifications. Let us look at the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. Under Section 32 of that Act, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is continued in his office. He receives a salary to-day of £20,000 a year. That salary has been paid, I think, since the year 1832, and the office has existed for a very much longer period. Under the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 that old salary of £20,000 a year was not interfered with, but of that £20,000 a year the Imperial Government was to pay £15,000 and the Irish Governments, Northern and Southern together, were to pay £5,000. I followed the Debates in this House on that Act, and it was never suggested in any quarter of the House otherwise than that the old and long existent salary should be continued.
That may be, but it is not the point. Then the Free State came into being, but the previously existing state of affairs has got to be applied to Northern Ireland, if Northern Ireland opts out under the present Measure. Instead of there being a Lord Lieutenant of all Ireland at £20,000 a year, there is to be a Governor for Northern Ireland at £8,000 a year and the proportion of eight to 20 has always been adopted in all adjustments as between Northern and Southern Ireland. It is the same proportion as that which exists in regard to the Imperial contribution, and this proposal is simply carrying out the former Act of this House. Regarding the other point made by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle) that of this £8,000 a year, the Imperial Parliament is to pay £6,000 and the Northern Irish Government £2,000, there again it is simply a, question of proportion. Formerly £5,000 a year was to be paid by Ireland as a whole. Now £2,000 is to be paid by Northern Ireland and had the former system gone on, the other £3,000 would have been paid by Southern Ireland. I hope I have made my point clear. There is no great change being made. This proposal simply continues under this present Measure the state of affairs which existed under the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 and applies it to Northern Ireland. That is the whole position. Perhaps it really did not fall to me to make this incursion into the Debate. I am perfectly certain the Under-Secretary for the Colonies would have put the matter in that light, but it struck me that in the Debates which have taken place, so far, this point has never been fully developed before the House.
I certainly think this Committee has a right to protest against what may be described as a Brobdignagian salary for a Lilliputian job and I enter my protest under this head—that we have no definite assurance that our liabilities will remain at our share of the £8,000 a year. I should like to know, before the Debate closes, whether a pension will be attached to this office, and, if so, what amount? If there is to be a pension, will it be upon the same grandiose scale as the salaries already allotted for the jobs given to Members of the Northern Irish Government? How many people will be enabled to draw this pension at one and the same time? Shall we see the spectacle of this country being asked to pay more in pensions than it actually pays in salary? Shall we be faced with the position of having more pensioners than there are holders of offices? We have that scandal in connection with another place, and I want to know whether it is to be extended to Northern Ireland, and exactly what will be our liabilities in that direction. I associate myself entirely with the remarks of the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle), and I enter my protest against the erection here of vested interests which will render the union of Northern and Southern Ireland improbable if not impossible.
I have listened to the Debate last night and to-day, and while I heard a justification attempted for the amount of this salary, I have heard no one say anything as to what duties are to be performed by the gentleman who is to be appointed to the office. When anybody, whether a local authority or a Parliament, is about to pay £8,000 to an individual, the first thing to be insisted upon is a knowledge of what they are going to get in return for the £8,000. We have heard the justification put forward about a sum of £20,000 having been paid in the- past, but one thing we must set our faces against is the theory that because a thing has been done foolishly for 100 years, we should go on doing it for another 100 years. No one has said what we are to receive in return for this money. I am not against paying men salaries if they are performing services for the salaries. I am one of those who think that in certain cases, whether the system be good or bad, you are compelled to pay salaries of a fairly high character. But when we are going to pay a salary of that kind we should know exactly the functions and the work to be performed in return for it. Some of us here may be raw and new to the House, but I hope the Government will give consideration to our views. Some of us come from Scotland and value £8,000 possibly more than other hon. Members. Being Scotch myself, I certainly should like to know how much value we are going to have in return for this money. If foolishness is to be continued I do not want Scotland to have any part in it. Let it be confined to Northern Ireland if they care to have it. Meanwhile, as a Scotsman representing a Scottish constituency, I wish to enter my protest against any foolish payment of this character.
Like most Members of this House, I have just been on an electioneering platform, and also, like most Members of the House, I have been promising economies at every meeting I addressed. I have listened to the arguments put forward here, and unless there be some very good reason for the expenditure of this money, I find I shall have difficulty in supporting the proposal. I do not feel I should be honest to my constituents if, merely because I am sitting on this side of the Committee, I allowed myself to be carried away into supporting the expenditure of £8,000 a year. That is not merely because it is £8,000 a year. This is one of the first occasions on which in this House we have had the opportunity of exercising the pious doctrines we have preached from our platforms, and I think we shall want to know a good deal more about this office and the reason for establishing this officer, whether at £8,000 or £800 a year, before I can support the proposal.
I would like to point out to the hon. Member for the Gorbals Division (Mr. Buchanan) that if they ever get Home Rule for Scotland, I am quite sure they will want a Governor—[HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"]—and I am quite sure, also, that this House will be expected to contribute to his salary. In this matter, however, the Labour party are in a very different position from that occupied by the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle) and his friends, who, after all, have asked us to vote £20,000 a year for the Lord Lieutenant's salary while they and their party have been in office for many years past.
It has been on the Consolidated Fund, and the hon. Member could at any time have voted against the Consolidated Fund Bill in which it was included, but it has been paid without any protest from the hon. Member. Another thing I think I ought to say in passing, and that is that the hon.
Member knows very well that, whether it has been a Liberal Viceroy or another, not one of them has been in pocket on the transaction. You cannot fulfil these posts on the salaries that have been paid for the carrying out of these duties. Every one of these salaries has been fixed at below what the occupant of these posts is expected to spend. I admit that in this case a pledge was given by the late Government, and it was given across the Floor of this House. The then Secretary of State for the Colonies, in Committee on the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill, gave this undertaking on the 6th March of this year. He said:
I wish to make it quite clear that if Ulster contracts out of tree area of the Free State, as she will have a statutory right to do, and unless there is an agreement, we should regard the wishes of Ulster in this respect as decisive. I make that statement definitely. If she does not wish the Viceroy or Governor-General selected for the Free State to discharge these functions over Northern Ireland, some other arrangement will be made. I wish to make that quite clear."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th March, 1922; col. 907, Vol. 151.]
When there is a Parliamentary undertaking given in this House, across the Floor of the House, on a matter of quasi-international agreement, when you are dealing with a Treaty, there must be very strong arguments adduced before upsetting it. The Government of Northern Ireland received this pledge from the late Secretary of State for the Colonies, given across the Floor of the House, and it would not be right for me to appear here and to say that that has no weight. On its merits, I think it is impracticable to suggest that the Governor-General of the Free State should fulfil the same functions in regard to the separate area of Northern Ireland. I do not think he could. The Free State would want him and his services for signatures to documents, for communications with His Majesty's Government, and for all the public functions which the head of the State and the representative of the Crown has to undertake, functions of many kinds. Those functions could not, in my opinion, be performed by one and the same man, and on its merits, therefore, I defend the demand put forward by the Government of Northern Ireland to have a separate representative of the Crown. A perfectly accurate statement was made by the right hon. Member for Antrim (Mr. O'Neill) as to the amount of the payment involved. The way in which we calculated it was to take the usual proportion, two-fifths, of the salary provided in the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. The right hon. Member described exactly how the figure was arrived at, and in view of the very large Imperial contribution paid by the Ulster taxpayers, we thought it fair under the circumstances that they should be asked to pay £2,000 and that this House should be asked to pay £6,000. That is what we had in mind in making this provision. We have had one Division on this question already, we are obviously going to have another, and as I do not see that anything more can be said one way or the other on the point, I would ask the Committee to come, to a decision straight away.
There are two questions which we are discussing to-night. One is, Should we have this official; and the second is, Should we pay him, and, if so, how much? As to the first, there is one small technical obstacle which I do not think has been dealt with. Under the first Schedule the Governor of Northern Ireland is to have the powers of the Lord Lieutenant, and in the Government of Ireland Act, under Section 2, the Lord Lieutenant appoints the President of the Council of Ireland. The Council of Ireland is a somewhat vague but very important body, because it represents the feeling towards unity in Ireland which many of us think is the one hope for a permanent Irish settlement. According to this new arrangement, there will be a Governor under the control of Northern Ireland who shall nominate the
President of the Council of Ireland. Has the Attorney-General considered this point? Does he really propose that Ulster should have the power to appoint the President of the Council of Ireland? Is he aware of what he is doing?
There shall be a Governor of Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, with respect of the Lord Lieutenant shall apply to the Governor of Northern Ireland.
That is in the Schedule. In the Act of 1920 you find that the Lord Lieutenant, acting in accordance with instructions from His Majesty, is to appoint a person who shall be President of the Council of Ireland. So that we find that the first technical objection to appointing anybody at all is that it would give to Ulster the power of appointing the President for the whole of the Council of Ireland. That is a point to which the hon. Gentleman, who is so well informed as to the murky past of the Liberal party in this respect, has not had time to devote his attention. The second question is, Shall we pay this official, and, if so, how much? Certainly it must strike the public as very strange, that when the most rigid economy is being practised even at the expense of ex-soldiers—I am not merely making an emotional appeal, but it is true, that when even small sums are being denied to people in need, the Government can still find money for posts of this kind, and for such enterprises as a dancing room at Bagdad—it does certainly seem strange to the public that you should make these ceremonial arrangements at great expense when you have not the money for these other objects. The hon. Gentleman has advanced the argument that the party, of which I was a very obscure and undistinguished member, paid the Lord Lieutenant £20,000. Why? Because everybody knows that in the old days the policy in Ireland was to pour out British money in default of real settlement, which the hon. Gentleman and his friends opposed. If it had been possible to have a settlement of the Irish question, it would have been unnecessary to pauperise the whole of Ireland with British money. That is the answer to his small debating point.
We are told that the £20,000 has had to he adjusted in the proportions of 8 and 12. The hon. Member really should devote less time to the trivial aspect of his subject, if I may say so, and more time to the details and facts, because, in point of fact, under this very Statute, we are cutting down the salary to £10,000, the same salary as is given to the Governor-General of Australia. What, then, becomes of the argument that it must be £8,000, because under the arithmetical calculation that is the figure necessary? There is nothing in it at all. The third and final point is, Why should we be asked to pay? If Northern Ireland wants a Governor, let it pay for him. I do submit that this House, newly constituted as it is and coming, as has been said, straight from the Election platforms, where economy has been talked, should set some limits to the insatiable mendicancy of the Ulster party.
I am sorry for Members of Parliament, or gentlemen who desire to become Members of Parliament, having to put themselves in the position that they must give so many promises before their election. For my own part, I never give any promises. I write no election address. I am in the happy position of being trusted by my constituents. Of course, if you have got to give promises, promises have a very awkward habit of coming home to roost. I heard of one promise that was given by a Member of the House. I do not know whether it is true; I am only giving what I have heard. It was that a workingman was promised his wages should be doubled, and when he went for his pay, he refused to accept it, because it was not doubled. There are a few points I would like to impress upon the Committee. We are constantly confronted with the question of the possibility of unity between North and South, and that this rather strikes a blow at that unity. I would ask my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn) and all the people around him to use all their influence, in the first instance, to get the Southern Irish to shake hands with themselves, because there is not the slightest chance, I can assure them, of any rapprochement between North and South until they come to some arrangement amongst themselves. So that I would recommend my hon. Friends, when they talk of unity between the North and the South, to be very careful that the speeches they make will not prevent the Southern Irish coming together. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Are there no differences in Belfast?"] We are overcoming them in Belfast, I am glad to say, between all parties and all classes. This Amendment strikes at the root of the 1920 Act, because the Governor-General in each ease is the representative of the Crown, and his name runs all through that Act for the purpose of carrying out that Act. If you pass this Amendment, therefore, you strike at the root of the 1920 Act.
The hon. Member is appealing now to the 1920 Act, Let me point out to him that under the 1920 Act there were two Irelands, and one Governor-General was to do for both. We are departing from that. Why should we appoint one man to do a job which could be done by the Viceroy in his spare time?
I am sorry to say that that is largely our complaint from this side of the Committee. It is that the House has departed from the 1920 Act. We want, however, to retain as much as we can of that Act. There is another point I wish to bring before the Committee. It is frequently repeated here that of this £8,000, £2,000 is paid by the Northern Parliament, and that £6,000 is paid by this House, as a separate payment by the Government here. Let me remind the Committee that Northern Ireland, in addition to paying this £2,000, contributes her fair share to that £6,000 which is returned to Ireland. That seems to be forgotten. We are taxed in Northern Ireland just the same as you are here. We are quite satisfied to be so taxed, because we still maintain our integrity and the Union between Northern Ireland and this country. We are satisfied to pay our portion of the War charges and all the rest. When you talk of this £6,000 being paid by this country, please do not forget that in the taxes which you collect from Northern Ireland that money is included. We pay our share of this. While it is just possible that some hon. Members opposite—I think there is something in that point—would like to know what value they will get for this money, I want to ask who gets the £8,000? Will hon. Members apposite try and answer that question for themselves? [HON. MEMBERS: "Lord Somebody or other!" and "The man who gets it!"] I am sorry the minds of hon. Members opposite cannot go any further than that. Eight thousand pounds is handed over to (his man. Who gets it? [An HON. MEMBER: "He buys groceries with it!"] I suppose the hon. Member buys groceries also. I have no doubt hon. Members will begin to realise that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and in future both the Governor of Northern Ireland and the Governor-General of Southern Ireland, will spend far more than that sum, which will go into the pockets of their employés. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not give it to the employés direct?"] That is about as direct as any money can go from the British or any other Exchequer. Try and remember that a great many of these employés are of the working classes.
In defending this proposal to find £8,000 for some needy aristocrat, the Under-Secretary could only fall back, if I understood him aright, for an argument upon some unfulfilled pledge given by the late Secretary for the Colonies. If that pledge be not fulfilled, it. will be only one more of the many unfulfilled pledges given by the late Secretary for the Colonies. I should like to say to the hon. Member for Armagh (Sir W Allen) that it is not purely a question of expense with many Members on these benches. This is a question of an insulting job.
To talk in the twentieth century of appointing a Governor of a free people is to insult that free people. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] In our free self-governing Dominions—Australia, New Zealand, and Canada—protests are continually being made against insults offered to them by imposing upon them Governors-General. As I say, the question of expense is not alone involved. If it were only a question of expense, a question of candle-ends, such as the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle) suggests, this could be made a profitable business for the taxpayers of Northern Ireland. Why pay a Governor at all? Do with the Governor what you do with your baronetcies, and O.B.E.'s, and dukedoms—put them up to Dutch auction, sell them at so much a time. You would get any number of stupid people in this world with more money than sense who would be willing to pay you so much money a year for the privilege of being allowed to drive through the Belfast streets in a top hat to open bazaars and mothers' meetings, to lay foundation stones, to attend polo gatherings, and on occasion, perhaps, to lose the Crown jewels. No justification whatever has been offered here for the imposition of this post on the people of Ireland. In my opinion, it is not a question of £8,000 or £80,000. It is an insult, at this time of day, to impose anybody with the title of a Governor on a free democracy.
I do not think it is necessary the Committee should jeer at the suggestion that a Governor is unnecessary in the 20th century. A certain distinguished American, about 60 years ago, remarked that nobody had yet been born good enough to govern another. That is the principle by which we hold on these benches. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] The applause with which that remark was greeted shows the dawning realisation that the Labour party are, at any rate, fitted to govern. It is the opinion of Members on the opposite benches that you can make anybody fitted to govern if you pay him enough money, and that if you offer £8,000 a year you can get the genuine article. I am not quite certain, from the speech of the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, whether his defence of this appointment was that the salary was sufficient or not more than sufficient, or whether it was not rather that he had been let in by his predecessor, and that, in doing his duty to-day, he was not indeed following the dictates of his own conscience but obeying his master's voice. The pledges of the late Secretary of State for the Colonies have been, I think, washed out by the recent election. Let the Under-Secretary start afresh with his own pledges, and let him keep them to the House. Then his own party will be perfectly satisfied with his conduct. Do not let him go back too far. As for this pledge, the Committee ought to observe that it was merely a statement in a speech by the previous Colonial Secretary, to the effect that if Northern Ireland declined to go into partnership with Southern Ireland, there should be set up in Northern Ireland some head of the Government, in accordance with the wishes of that august people. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or any other arrangement could be made!"] Yes, not this definite promise of a Governor. But whether a definite promise or not, it cannot be held binding on a Liberal Government and a different Parliament, and least of all can it be held binding on those people in the old House of Commons who did not agree with the pledge, and who had no part in it. They are as free as air to vote to-night for it, or for the promises they have given to their constituents, instead of the promise made by the late Secretary for the Colonies to the Ulster Members. So far as the pledge is concerned, we on our side—and there must be many hon. Members opposite who will vote with us in this Division on the strength of promises given to their constituents—will observe the pledges of economy given rather than the pledge given by the late Secretary for the Colonies who has lost his job.
The pledge is not that which really appeals to hon. Members opposite. The present Government is being forced by the Ulster Members to provide this post in Ireland, to provide this gift, for they know full well that by establishing a Governorship for Northern Ireland, they will be setting up another vested interest to prevent the unity of Ireland in the years to come. We on this side are supporting the hon. Member for Penistone in this Motion because we believe that the worst possible service that can be done to Ireland, or to the homogeneous corporation of the British Empire, is to enable the division between the North and the South of Ireland to be perpetuated. The question of the unity of Ireland, I believe, is agreed upon by every Member of this House, except those from Ulster, as being a desirable solution to the question. Here you are deliberately putting up a new barrier. It is perfectly obvious that the whole idea of the Viceroy in Dublin is to be perpetuated now by the Governor in Belfast. We shall have the same Court, the same functionaries, the same Court dressmakers and the same flunkeyism that used to exist in Dublin. It is now to be transferred to Belfast. We are asked to do this in the interests of unemployment'. Does Belfast imagine that it is possible to solve the unemployed problem by giving to the North of Ireland a Governor at £8,000 a year? If so, there is no earthly reason why we should not help the problem still further by giving the Governor £80,000 a year. In fact the solution of our difficulties is perfectly simple. All you have to do is to find money from the British Treasury and spend it somewhere else!
The last argument of the Ulster Members was really typical of Ulster. That was: "Why should we not have this? Do we not contribute large sums to the British Exchequer for the Army, the Navy, the National Debt, and so on? Do we not contribute very nearly £7,500,000 a year towards the national services? Why, therefore, should we not have a call upon the Exchequer?" But if they do not want to contribute their quota to the national services and to national defence, then do not let them come here and tax our people. We have them coming to this House and inflicting taxation upon the working classes of this country—and they are nearly all Tories. If they were going to tax food then they need not brag of their contribution being a gift by Ulster to this country. It would be a gift if, as they do in Canada or some other of the Dominions, they did not sit in this House. If they did not sit here, then they might talk about their gift and expect gratitude for it. So long as they sit here and join in taxing the people of this country we have a right to ask, when an additional I post is set up like this merely to gratify the wishes of Ulster, that they themselves should contribute not one quarter but the whole of he cost.
I should like the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies to clear up one point. Has it been correctly stated that an undertaking was given by the late Government to set up this office "unless agreed to the contrary"? Does the statement contain these latter words, and is it or is it not laid upon the House to determine the establishment or otherwise of the office?
That referred possibly to an agreement between Ulster, that is to say, the Northern Government and the Free State—an agreement binding upon this House. But the hon. Mem-
|Division No. 9.]||AYES.||[9 45 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Crooke, J. S. (Deritend)||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)|
|Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark)||Dalziel, Sir D. (Lambeth, Brixton)||Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)|
|Allen, Lieut-Col. Sir William James||Davidson, J. C. C (Hemel Hempstead)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Apsley, Lord||Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Horbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Herbert, S. (Scarborough)|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dixon, Capt. H. (Belfast, E.)||Hiley, Sir Ernest|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Doyle, N. Gratton||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G|
|Banks, Mitchell||Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bell, Lieut.-COL W. C. H. (Devizes)||Ednam, Viscount||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Berry, Sir George||Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Hood, Sir Joseph|
|Betterton, Henry B.||England, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Houfton, John Plowright|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Erskine-Bolst, Captain C. E.||Hudson. Capt. A.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Evans. Ernest (Cardigan)||Hume, G. H.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Eyres-Monsell. Com. Bolton M.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Brass, Captain W.||Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Fawkes, Major F. H.||Hurst, Lt.-Col. Gerald Berkeley|
|Bridgernan, Rt. Hon. William Cilve||Formor-Hesketh, Major T.||Hutchison, G. A. C. (Peebles. N.)|
|Briggs, Harold||Fildes, Henry||Hutchison, Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. clifton (Newbury)||Flanagan, W. H.||Hutchison, w. (Keivingrove)|
|Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham)||Ford, Patrick Johnston||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Forestler-Walker, L.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.|
|Bruford, R.||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||James. Lieut.-Colonel Hun. Cuthberf|
|Bruton, Sir James||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Jarrett, G. W. S.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Furness, G. J.||Jephcott. A. R.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul|
|Button, H. S.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Johnson, Sir L. (Walthamstow. E.)|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Garland, C. S.||Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Gates, Percy||King, Capt. Henry Douglas|
|Cassels, J. D.||George, Major G. L. (Pembroke)||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Cayzer, sir C. (Chester, City)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Goff, Sir R. Park||Lever, Sir Arthur L.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gould, James C.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gray, Harold (Cambridge)||Lorden, John William|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Greaves-Lord, Walter||Lorimer, H. D.|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y. N.)||Lougher, L.|
|Clayton G. C.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Lumley, L. R.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Gretton, Colonel John||Lynn, R. J.|
|Colfox, Major Win. Phillips||Grigg, Sir Edward||M'Connell, Thomas E.|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gwynne, Rupert S.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)|
|Cope, Major William||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon, James 1.|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Cotts, Sir William Dingwall Mitchell||Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'T,W.D'by)||Mafone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)|
|Courthone, Liout.-Col. George L.||Halstead, Major D.||Margesson, H. D, R.|
|Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South)||Hamilton, Sir Gcoro. O C. (Altrincham)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.|
|Craik, Fit. Hon. Sir Henry||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North)||Harvey, Major S. E.||Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)|
|Moles, Thomas||Rentoul, G. S.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Reynolds, W. G. W.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Molson, Major John Eisdale||Rhodes, Lieut.-Col. J. P.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Morris, Harold||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir p. (Chrtsy)||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. c. (Honiton)||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)||Thomson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Rogerson, Capt, J. E.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Nail, Major Joseph||Rothschild, Lionel de||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Nesbitt, J. C.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Russell, William (Bolton)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge HIM)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Waring, Major Walter|
|Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Sandon, Lord||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Penny, Frederick George||Shepperson, E. W.||Whitla, Sir William|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Perkins, E. K.||Simpson-Hinchcliffe, W. A.||Windsor, Viscount|
|Perring, William George||Singleton, J. E.||Winterton, Earl|
|Philipson, H. H.||Skelton, A. N.||Wise, Frederick|
|Pielou, D. P.||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Price, E. G.||Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furn'ss)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Raine, w.||Sparkes, H. W,||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Rawson, Lieut.-Com. A. C.||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Reld, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Stanley, Lord|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Stockton, Sir Edwin Forsyth||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Remer, J. R.||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Colonel Gibbs and Major Barnston.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hartshorn, Vernon||Roberts, C. H. (Derby)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hastings, Patrick||Roberts, F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Herriotts, J.||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Barnes, A.||Hill, A.||Saklatvala, S.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hillary, A E.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Benn. Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hinds, John||Sexton, James|
|Bonwick, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Bdwdler, W. A.||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Shinwell, Emanuel|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hogge, James Myles||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Broad, F. A.||Irving, Dan||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Brotherton, J.||Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Brown. James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, T. (Pontefract)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kenyon, Barnet||Snowden, Philip|
|Buckle, J.||Kirk wood, D.||Spoor, B. G.|
|Burgess, S.||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Lawson. John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Leach, W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Cairns, John||Lee, F.||Thomas, Brig. Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)|
|Cape, Thomas||Linfield, F. C.||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Chappie, W. A.||Lunn, William||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Thome, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Thornton, M.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||M'Entee, V. L.||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Collins. Pat (Walsall)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Tout, W. J.|
|Collison, Levi||March. S.||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Darbishire. C. W.||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.||Turner, Ben|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Mathew, C. J.||Warne. G. H.|
|Davison. J. E. (Smethwick)||Maxton, James||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Middleton, G.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duffy, T. Gavan||Morel, E. D.||Webb, Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mosley, Oswald||Weir, L. M.|
|Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)||Muir, John W. l||Welsh, J. C.|
|Fairbairn, R. R.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Falconer, J.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||Wheatley. J.|
|Foot, Isaac||Newbold, J. T. W.||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Nicol, Robert||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)|
|Gray, Frank (Oxford)||O'Grady, Captain James||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Oliver, George Harold||Wignall, James|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Parker, H. (Hanley)||Williams. T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Groves, T.||Pattinson, R. (Grantham)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, F. (York. W.R., Normanton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Potts, John S.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Hancock, John George||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Hardie, George D.||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harris, Percy A.||Ritson, J.||Mr. Pringle and Mr. Wallhead.|
Question, "That the Schedule stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
I bog to move, in paragraph (3, 1), to leave out the words
and it is hereby declared that the passing of such Acts is within the powers of the said Parliaments.
I do not think this Amendment need occupy more than a very few moments, because it is purely formal. The paragraph as it stands reads:
The Constitution of the Council of Ireland shall, if identical Acts for the purpose are passed by the Parliament of the Irish Free State and the Parliament, of Northern Ireland, be altered in accordance with those Acts, and it is hereby declared that the passing of such Acts is within the powers of the said Parliaments.
My Motion is to leave out the last sentence beginning "and it is hereby declared," first, because these words are unnecessary, for as the Committee will realise, the House enacts that the Constitution is altered in accordance with identical Acts as soon as they are passed. Secondly, these words are objectionable from a technical point of view, because they may-lead people to think that there is power in one or other of the Parliaments to alter the Constitution of the Council of Ireland. That is not a thing which it is desirable to lead anyone to believe. Neither is it the fact. It might lead to complications hereafter if these words were allowed to remain. I am therefore moving their omission.
I should like to draw attention to paragraph (4, 1, c) of the Schedule, which reads:
The Joint Exchequer Board, in determining the just proportion of Imperial liability and expenditure to be contributed by Northern Ireland in respect of each financial year after the end of the said second financial year, shall have regard to the relative taxable capacities of Northern Ireland on the one hand and Great Britain and Ireland on the other hand.
I should like the Government to define the taxable capacities of the partners to this arrangement. What is meant by the term? Under this Bill we are likely to have quite different methods of taxation in this country as compared with the Irish Free State and with Northern Ireland, and we ought to have some definition from the Government of what they mean by the phrase, "taxable
capacities." Later on, when the Joint Exchequer Board comes to decide what shall be the Imperial liability and expenditure, they will have to bear in mind that in the case of Southern Ireland a very large proportion of the population are small farmers who have become exempt from the payment of Income Tax. They ought also to remember, in considering the question of taxable capacity, that the working classes of this country are far more overtaxed than they should be, especially in the matter of food taxation. Are the. Joint Exchequer Board going to take into consideration, when arriving at the taxable capacity, the food taxation to which I have referred? I should like the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to define therefore what is meant by the term "taxable capacities."
The answer to the hon. Member is that we are merely here reproducing with regard to Northern Ireland a provision of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, which, in Clause 23, imposes upon the Joint Exchequer Board the duty of determining the proportion of Imperial liability and expenditure and the Board are to have regard in so doing to the relative taxable capacities of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Of course, now we have Northern Ireland instead of Ireland as a whole, and that is the reason why these words appear in this Bill. We really are re-enacting what is already in the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, as to the best method of assessing the proportion of liabilities and expenditure which is to be borne by Northern Ireland and by Great Britain.