§ WAYS AND MEANS—considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Moved, "That towards raising the Supply-granted to Her Majesty, the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury he authorized to raise any sum, not exceeding £6,000,000, by an issue of Exchequer Bonds, Exchequer Bills, or Treasury Bills."
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, he understood that the immediate effect of the Resolution would be to add £,6,000,000—or whatever portion of £6,000,000 it was found necessary to use—to the Debt 1453 of the country. What he wanted to know was, whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer intended to raise by taxation the amount which would have to be raised in consequence of that Vote? for he, for one, was very much opposed to leading the country into supporting what was called a "spirited foreign policy," without a full understanding that it would have to be paid for by taxation. It seemed a very simple thing for most people to support a "spirited foreign policy," when they had not to put their hands into their pockets to pay for it; and therefore, for his part, seeing that the House had determined to grant the money, he should contend that the Government should place the thing fairly before the country—that the means by which it was to be met was by taxation, so that it might be judged by the country in that shape.
THE CHANOELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Nothing can be fairer than what my hon. Friend asks. I can assure him that I should be the last person to think of raising such a sum as that with which we are now dealing by making anything like a permanent addition to the National Debt. But I want the Committee to observe that we are now within six weeks or a little more of the close of the financial year, and that it is absolutely impossible for us to put on any new taxation that would be worth anything between this and the end of March. It is, therefore, necessary to make some temporary arrangement, especially as we do not know the amount that may be required; but, when I bring forward the Financial Statement for next year, I shall be prepared to state what we propose to do. I may say that, even in the event of the whole £6,000,000 being spent, we do not intend that the re-payment shall extend over more than three years at the outside, and that, of course, would leave the re-payment at £2,000,000 a-year.
§ MR. DODSON
said, he was glad to learn that the re-payment of the bonds was not intended to extend over more than three years. He had also observed with satisfaction an alteration in the Resolution—that the £6,000,000 should be raised by Exchequer bonds, with the power added of raising them by bills.
§ MR. BIGGAR
said, that the great mass of the people of the country were in a bad state, and the money ought, 1454 therefore, to be laid on the National Debt, as it was for a purpose which, if beneficial at all, would be beneficial to posterity.
§ Motion agreed to.
- (1.) Resolved, That, towards raising the Supply granted to Her Majesty, the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury be authorized to raise any sum, not exceeding £6,000,000, by an issue of Exchequer Bonds, Exchequer Bills, or Treasury Bills.
- (2.) Resolved, That the principal of all Exchequer Bonds which may be so issued shall be paid off at par at the expiration of any period not exceeding three years from the date of such Bonds.
- (3.) Resolved, That the interest of all such Exchequer Bonds shall be paid half-yearly, and shall be charged upon and issued out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom, or the growing produce thereof.
- (4.) Resolved, That, towards making good the Supply granted to Her Majesty for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March 1878, the sum of £6,000,000 be granted, out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom.
§ Resolutions to be reported upon Wednesday;
§ Committee to sit again upon Wednesday.