§ MR. FIRTH
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is not the fact that in an estimate of current income and expenditure recently presented by the Chamberlain of London, there is shown a probable deficit in the accounts of the Corporation of the City of London of £38,500 on Dec. 31st, 1881; whether this deficit is not exclusive of extraordinary expenses for various purposes named in the Report; and, whether he is prepared to promote the wish of the people of London to have the accounts of the Corporation submitted to a skilled and independent audit?
§ MR. COURTNEY
I believe it is the fact that the Chamberlain's estimate for the current year shows a probable deficiency of £38,500. That estimate is so far exclusive of extraordinary expenses that it does not include certain works in abeyance, and it necessarily excludes extraordinary expenditure which may be authorized by the Corporation during the rest of the year; but it does include £41,500 expenditure upon the New City School buildings, against which hereafter will be set off the value of the present School site and buildings. The phrase "the people of London" appears to be ambiguous. As all the Common Councillors are elected annually on St. Thomas's Day, the people of the City could apparently insist upon a skilled and independent audit if they wished it. But the hon. Member probably denotes by the phrase the inhabitants of a much larger area, and he must invoke a stronger power than mine if he desires to promote their wishes.