HC Deb 28 April 1881 vol 260 c1319

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government, before the Budget arrangements for the year have been finally agreed to, to resume this year the production of an annual statement of local finance; and, if not, what other opportunity will be afforded to the House to consider the growth of local expenditure and debt?


In reply to the Question of the hon. Member, I cannot give him the answer which he, perhaps, expects; but I wish to give him such information on the subject as lies in my power to afford him. I desire, equally with himself, that the attention of this House should be drawn as much as possible to the subject of local expenditure; and if I do not make myself a party to mixing up that subject with the national taxing Bill, it is because I feel that it cannot receive any adequate attention on that occasion. The question of the production of an annual statement of local finance cannot be conveniently considered in connection with the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill, for it would lead to the confusion of matters which, in a Parliamentary sense, are quite distinct, and there could be no complete or satisfactory discussion upon it. I will, however, promise the hon. Member that the question of local loans and expenditure shall be discussed at a period of the Session when it will be convenient for the Government and the Member to take part in such discussion. MR. PELL said, that, notwithstanding the reply of the right hon. Gentleman, he should still feel it to be his duty to call the attention of the House to this subject at the time when it would be most convenient to discuss it.