HC Deb 13 July 1871 vol 207 cc1621-2

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it would be possible to state upon each Return or Paper laid before Parliament the cost of obtaining the information given and of printing the same, according to the practice of some of the Australian Colonies?


Sir, as Returns are usually prepared by the ordinary staff of each Office, it would not be possible to give an absolutely accurate account of the cost of clerical labour; but there would not be much difficulty in stating it approximately. The cost of printing could, of course, be given. I have been for some time in communication with Mr. Speaker and the authorities of the House on the subject, and, unless general objection be taken to the change, I do not see why our practice should not be assimilated to that of some of the Australian colonies, and the cost of obtaining the information and printing the same stated on the back of each Return. One Return, with reference to the Land Tax, lately moved for, but not yet printed, will cost £207.