HC Deb 09 February 1843 vol 66 cc338-9

Mr. W. Williams moved for a Return of the recommendations contained in the reports of the commissioners appointed on the 8th of July, 1831, to make inquiries and to examine into the manner in which the public money is received and paid in the several departments of receipt and payment, and into the system of keeping the accounts in the same, and to suggest such improvements as may appear to them to be practicable and necessary; and also, a statement, showing what parts thereof have been carried into effect.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

, though he did not object to the return, considered it one almost impracticable to be made, and one which would, at all events, impose a task of extreme difficulty upon the Government. He put it, therefore, to the hon. Gentleman, whether he would persist in his motion.

Dr. Bowring

said that the motion was in consonance with the recommendation of a committee of that House, and was the adoption of a great principle—namely, that the whole public revenue, without any deduction whatever, ought to be paid into the public treasury, and that no payment ought to be made without Parliamentary control.

Mr. W. Williams

was glad that the right hon. Gentleman did not object to the return, which he considered to be one of very great importance, and, if granted, would do great public service.

Sir George Clerk

did not understand his right hon. Friend (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) to say that he would furnish the information required, but merely that it was very difficult to do so, and that it was equally difficult to ascertain what was the real object of the motion.

Mr. Williams

was only anxious to obtain the information, and cared comparatively little for the wording of the motion. A return of a similar kind had been moved for by the hon. Member for Greenock last session, and to communicate to the House all that was required, would give little trouble and occupy little time.

Sir R. Peel

remarked that the most important part of the information con- sisted of the recommendations in the report; those were already printed: but if the hon. Member wished to have them printed again there could be no objection to it. Neither did he nor his friends consider the mere words of the motion of any importance; they were only desirous that the terms should be such as to occasion no disappointment to the hon. Member when the return was made. It might not be easy in all cases to state how far the recommendations of the commissioners had been carried into effect.

Mr. F. Baring

said that after a general principle had been laid down, it was the business of the several departments to carry it into execution by degrees. In any case where a recommendation had been carried completely into effect, that information might be conveyed to the House, and perhaps the better course would be, for the hon. Member for Coventry to move specificially upon each recommendation. He believed that a good deal had been done already, and had no doubt that more would be done hereafter. Practically, it might be advantageous for the hon. Member to confine his motion to particular points.

Motion withdrawn.