HC Deb 25 March 1873 vol 215 c101

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, considering that the Treasury and other Government Departments may be implicated in the misappropriation of the Savings Bank Deposits and Postal Revenues to the Telegraph Capital Account, he will consider the desirability, in order to secure a full and impartial investigation, of intrusting the promised inquiry not to the Treasury as is suggested, but either to the Committee of Public Accounts, or to a Committee nominated by the Committee of Selection?


Sir, the Question of my hon. Friend seems to have been dictated by an entire misapprehension of the stage at which we have arrived in this important matter. It would certainly be a very bad compliment to the Committee on Public Accounts, who appear to have treated the subject with much care and consideration, to fly in the face of the recommendation they have made by refusing to commit the matter to the investigation of the Treasury. At the same time, I do not think I am in saying this running counter to the view of the hon. Member. The Committee on Public Accounts, having very properly considered that the Treasury is officially superior to the Post Office, have concluded that it is the business of the Treasury to inquire into this matter. But it does not follow that the inquiry by the Treasury is the final step. When the inquiry at the Treasury has been completed—and I am sure my right hon. Friend will press it forward with all dispatch—it will be for the House to determine what further steps should be taken in the matter.