HC Deb 05 August 1836 vol 35 cc926-8
Sir James Graham

, before the House went into a Committee of Supply, was desirous of asking a question of the Government. Towards the end of the last Session a Bill was brought in for the purpose of consolidating the offices of treasurer of the navy, paymaster of the army, and master of the ordnance. They had now arrived at a late period of the present Session, and on the last day for bringing forward the supplies, and he perceived by the army and navy estimates, that all provision for these offices was omitted. What he, therefore, wished to ask was, whether any estimate on the subject would be submitted to the House, and whether the salaries of those offices had been paid on the 5th of July, and, if so, out of what fund were they defrayed?

Mr. Francis Baring

was understood to say, that the arrangement to which the hon. Gentleman had alluded, was one that required much consideration; and was not yet completed. He apprehended, however, that they would be ready in a few days and then they should be immediately laid before the House. With regard to the payment of the salaries of these officers there was no estimate submitted for the purpose in the Army, Navy, or Ordnance Estimates, because the Treasury thought it would be better that provision should be made for the charge in a separate estimate. It was the intention of the Treasury to submit such an estimate to Parliament, and they had hopes that they would have been able to consolidate the three offices in sufficient time to enable them to submit this Session as short an estimate as possible for the purpose. In consequence, however, of their not being able to finish the arrangements for the consolidation of the offices until the present late period, it was impossible for them to lay such an estimate before the House. The parties holding the situations had been paid their salaries up to the 5th of July, and it was true, that no vote of the House had been taken on the subject. It was conceived by the Treasury that it would be a great hardship on these parties if they should be kept out of their salaries through no fault of their own, and therefore an order had been issued for their payment out of the Consolidated Fund. The right hon. Baronet should have the correspondence with the Treasury on the subject laid before the House if he chose to move for it. He (Mr. F. Baring) was sure that the House would not consider that anything wrong had been done, though no formal vote of the House had been taken on the subject.

Sir James Graham

said, that though he should not call for the correspondence with the Treasury on the subject, he must remark that when Parliament was sitting no money ought to have been issued except by a vote of that House. A supplementary estimate should have been brought forward in this case. He was sorry to find that these regulations would not be laid upon the table of the House in sufficient time to have a discussion on them this Session. He was the more sorry for it, as they affected an office which he, in common with a late treasurer, had great trouble in regulating. From the statement of the hon. Gentleman, however, he gathered that no opportunity for discussing them this Session would occur.

On the motion of Lord Morpeth, the report on the Corporate Property (Ireland) Bill was further considered, and agreed to, and the Bill ordered to be read a third time on Monday next.

Mr. F. Baring moved the order of the day for the House going into Committee of Supply.