HC Deb 08 July 1831 vol 4 cc980-1

Lord Granville Somerset, begged to call the attention of Government to the manner in which the public accounts were kept. He wished to know whether and what steps had been taken to Reform the abuses in the mode of calculation and accounts in the Exchequer, which had been recommended by Committees of that House?

Mr. Spring Rice

said, that a commission was appointed to inquire into the subject, but Government was not then prepared in the present Session with any measure. He expected, that in the course of next Session some arrangement would be submitted for adoption by the House.

Lord Althorp

said, the subject had received every attention, but, at the present moment, they found it impossible to bring forward any plan for the correction of those abuses which undoubtedly did exist.

Mr. Maberly

said, the late Government had had seven years to effect these alterations, but had not done so. The present Ministers had only been in office a few months, and had not yet had time to carry any material improvement into practice.

Mr. Goulburn

assured the hon. Gentleman the late Government had not neglected the subject, but the report that had been made required the investigation of the first legal authority. He did not blame the present Government, but he was desirous to know how the scheme recommended by the Commissioners had prospered in its hands.

Mr. Spring Rice

thought, the hon. Gentleman ought to allow at least nine months to bring the measure to maturity.

Lord Granville Somerset

assured the hon. Gentleman, he had not the slightest intention to attribute blame to them. As he knew there were legal difficulties in making the required alterations, he was only anxious to know if the measure had received any attention from Government.

Mr. Hume

was glad to find right hon. Gentlemen quarrelling about his bantling, for he begged to assure the Committee that it was his. In the year 1822 he had moved for the abolition altogether of several offices in the Exchequer. The Government, thereupon, directed inquiry, and the noble Lord who had that evening asked the question, was very active as one of the Commissioners appointed to probe these abuses to the bottom. What were the legal difficulties he was not aware of, but he thought they might have been got over by the late Government.

Vote agreed to.