§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, that the Bill was a great improvement on former Appropriation Bills, which, generally speaking, had not been printed, and were drawn up in a manner difficult to be understood, He trusted that the improvement would be extended to the public accounts. At present there were no means of making a satisfactory comparison between one year and another. As far as he could make out, it seemed that there was a permanent increase to the amount of £141,000 in the Consolidated Fund. The sums paid for superannuations were actually one-fourteenth of the whole Revenue of the year. No less than £5,000,000 a year were spent in superannuation and retiring allowances in the various Departments of the public service. A paper had been put into the hands of Members that morning, in which the Government took credit for a reduction of £155,895 in the Civil Service Estimates. That reduction appeared to him to be deceptive.
said, that the Appropriation Bill, in its present amended form, stated the amount of the various grants in figures instead of, as formerly, in words; it avoided useless repetitions of the same words, it removed from the body of the Act to the Schedule the various items; it arranged into classes the several Votes, and enabled any one readily to find the particular grant he wished to trace. The hon. Member was not justified in speaking of the paper in question as deceptive. It 718 was a comparison between the present and last year. The reduction arose chiefly from their being no Vote this year for the redemption of the Scheldt Dues. Considering how many new Votes there were in the present year—the Votes, for example, for the Fire Brigade, for the Registry of Deeds Office, for Flax Cultivation in Ireland, for Agricultural Statistics in England, and for Harwich Harbour—it was satisfactury that the amount required was less than that voted last year.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read 3° on Monday next.