§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he could not but complain of the confusion which was occasioned in the public accounts by the want of distinctness in the arrangement of the items. He also wished to call attention to the number of Votes in Book No. 1 of the Estimates, in which large sums remained over from former years. The whole of the twenty-three Votes in that book amounted to £695,000, while the items lying over from the votes of former years amounted to £769,000. He contended that all balances unappropriated on the 31st March should be paid into the Exchequer, and so accounted for, and a fresh vote taken for the same purpose when one was necessary.
observed, that the Government were rather entitled to credit than censure for the existence of the balances to which the hon. Gentleman had referred. Most of those votes had not been passed till very late in the Session; the exist- 303 ence of the balances was, therefore, an indication that Government had not begun to expend the money under the Votes until they had been passed by the House. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had already stated that it was the intention in future to take the Votes for the Civil Service for the payments falling due within the year, and it was also intended that sums unexpended should be paid into the Exchequer.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, he wished to ask whether the change which had just been announced would be effected by a Bill or by a simple order of the Treasury.
said, that it was not quite settled; but, if legislation was necessary, a Bill would be introduced.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.