HC Deb 30 April 1838 vol 42 c675
Mr. Goulburn

would be glad to know from the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he could state to the House the probable amount of the expenses incurred by calling out the militia in the North American provinces to suppress the late disturbances in Canada.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the question asked by his right hon. Friend was one of very considerable importance, so much so as to occasion the postponement of his financial statement, inasmuch as that statement must necessarily be incomplete, unless he was prepared absolutely and distinctly to state the amount of the expenses which had been, and might be, incurred in that matter. The House, however, appeared to be so impatient, that his financial statement should be made, that he was unwilling to postpone it beyond the period which had now been fixed. He was sorry at not being able at that moment to state the amount of the expense already incurred. There could, of course, be no difficulty in making out the return up to the receipt of the last advices. The House would readily perceive that the pressure of affairs in Canada was so great and the emergency so unexpected, that it was impossible for the local Government to carry on their business with the ordinary machinery and the usual and established commissariat rules. They were consequently compelled to have recourse to such a commissariat system as would meet the emergency of the case. A new board of control, composed of British officers, had to be formed, and their duties were not only to superintend the current expenditure, but also to exercise a revision over the past. He had not yet received, nor indeed did he expect to be able to receive, the accounts of the supplies, which he was asked to state to the House.