HC Deb 19 March 1861 vol 162 cc19-20

Order for Third Reading read.


moved that this Bill be read a third time.


said, that the Treasury were bound to place upon the table at the commencement of every Session of Parliament a Return, giving the increase in the National Debt for the ten years previous. It appeared that a document dated February 9, 1860, and signed by Mr. Laing, was placed on the table during the last Session, which stated that there was no addition whatever to the National Debt in 1859. By a paper, however, which had been laid before Parliament this Session, and which had the signature of the present Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Peel), it appeared that in 1859 there was an increase to the National Debt of £8,469,000. He wished to know who was responsible for the correctness of these documents?


said, he had not been apprised that this question was to be put. He was not prepared to admit, as at present advised, that any incorrect statement had been placed before the House. The £8,000,000 alluded to was, he apprehended, a transfer of the unfunded to the funded debt. As to responsibility with regard to these documents all that he could say was that they were signed by the Secretary of the Treasury, who was the organ of the Board of Treasury, all the Members of which, the head of the Government, and himself especially, were responsible for the documents, and would be ready to answer any questions with regard to them which the right hon. Baronet might think proper to ask, either now or at any other time.

Bill read 3o, and passed.