HC Deb 12 December 1878 vol 243 cc635-6

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he can now state what he could not state last Session, how the Government proposes to provide for the expenses that have already been incurred and which may arise out of the war in South Africa?


Sir, I am afraid that I cannot at present answer the most important part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, with regard to the expenses that may arise. I can add, to some extent, to the Answer which I gave last year with regard to the expenditure to the time of making up the financial estimate for the year. I informed the House that I had reason to believe that there would be an excess upon the accounts of the year 1877–8 inconsequence of the war expenditure at the Cape, and I made some allowance for that amount. I am happy to say that, as far as we have gone in making up the accounts for the year 1877–8, we have reason to think that any excess that there may have been on that Vote will be fully covered, and more than covered, by saving on other Votes. Therefore, so far as the expense incurred for the financial year goes, we shall be better off than we were at the time I made that statement. With regard to the coming expenditure, I am sorry to say that the news from the Cape has been of late disturbing, and we have reason to fear that there will be considerable expenditure there; but I am not at present in a position to say what the amount of it may be, or what arrangements we shall have to make with regard to it.


asked, If the right hon. Gentleman could give the particulars of the items on which there would be an excess?


No, I have not got the particulars; but it will not exceed the amount stated last Session.