HC Deb 29 March 1844 vol 73 cc1665-6
Sir G. Clerk

in proposing the vote for Commissariat Services observed, that there was a considerable apparent increase in the sum required this year; but it arose from a large sum that formerly appeared in the Army and Ordnance Estimates being transferred for the first time to this department. The Commissariat Department always supplied rations, forage, fuel, and light to the troops on foreign stations, and the funds for that purpose were partly voted under the Army, Ordnance, and Commissariat Estimates. But this led to great complication of accounts, and it was considered much better that the department having the charge of providing those articles should also have the funds voted under a general head. In consequence of this there would appear a vote in the present estimate of 270,000l. on account of rations, forage, and fuel, but there was an actual saving in the whole Estimate of 8,000l. Another item which now had been introduced into the Estimate was that of the profit upon bills, which heretofore had been otherwise accounted for. He moved a vote of 436,000l. for the Commissariat.

Mr. Hume

saw that the accounts had been much simplified and improved by bringing into operation the principle which should be applied also to the general accounts of the country, not allowing each department to deduct from its receipts its own expellees before remitting into the Exchequer, but bringing all the national resources primarily into one general receipt. He desired very much to have statements of the contract prices at which the different articles of provisions had been supplied, so that the prices paid in different parts of the country might be seen.

Dr. Bowring

strongly urged the practical adoption of the principle respecting accounts recommended by a Committee of that House, with the concurrent sanction of the right hon. Members for Portsmouth and Dorchester—the principle of the Exchequer receiving, in the first place, the entire of our taxation, and allowing payments only on the authority of Parliament and the Executive.

Vote agreed to.

House resumed. Committee to sit again.