No. 48 NAI DFA Secretary's Files S1

Letter from James J. McElligott to Seán Murphy (Dublin)

Dublin, 27 April 1937

Dear Murphy,
With reference to your note of yesterday's date1 about the Parliamentary Question put down by Deputy O'Neill regarding the amounts withheld from Great Britain and the yield from the British special duties on Irish Free State produce, the total amount so collected by the British in the four years to which the Deputy refers was £19,382,229 of which £9,794 was due to the Isle of Man, leaving £19,372,435, the amount referred to by the Deputy, available for the British Exchequer. The figures for the first three years have been taken from the British Finance Accounts and for 1936/37 from the Statement of Revenue and Expenditure laid before the British House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer2 when opening the Budget this year.

We estimate the amount withheld from the British in the same four years at £19,314,162, as compared with the Deputy's figure of £19,309,668. Firm figures are available for all the items except Land Annuities, which, as you are aware, were revised by the Land Act 1933 and it would involve a very considerable amount of time and labour in arriving at the figure which would be paid to the British under that head if the annuities had not been revised and the dispute had not arisen. I think, however, that the estimate I have given above is sufficiently close for all practical purposes.

The Deputy has ignored the financial year 1932/3 during which the dispute started. In that year the amount withheld was £4,771,617 and the amount paid into the British Exchequer (i.e. ignoring the Isle of Man) in that year, on foot of the special duties, was £2,514,084. If these figures are added to the ones I have given for the subsequent four years you will see that from the commencement of the dispute up to the 31st March last instead of there being a credit balance in favour of Britain there has been a fairly substantial deficit.

Yours sincerely,
[signed] J.J. McELLIGOTT

1 Not printed.

2 Neville Chamberlain.

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