HC Deb 23 February 1885 vol 294 cc1046-7

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is the fact that the Paymaster General, by direction of the Treasury, has advanced out of the balances of miscellaneous deposits for which he is accountable, not being Ways and Means provided by Parliament, sums exceeding two millions for Army and Navy Services, and for the Treasury Chest; whether there is any statutable authority for so dealing with these balances; and when and by what means it is proposed to repay the amounts advanced; whether the amounts so advanced are included in the weekly published accounts of the payments out of the Exchequer for Supply Services, which, on the 14th February, were shown to be £45,188,179, or whether those payments should be increased by the sums advanced out of balances, other than Ways and Means, by the Paymaster General; and, whether there are any other funds under the control of the Treasury, as, e.g., the Savings Banks Funds or the Post Office Balances, which could be applied in the same manner?


My right hon. Friend asks me a Question arising, I think, out of the inquiry into the organization of the Pay Office, upon which he has been so good as to lend us his valuable assistance. The subject is a very proper one for a Question such as my right hon. Friend asks; but it would be difficult for me to give an explanation, which must be of a very technical character, within the limits of an answer to a Question in the House. I should propose, accordingly, to lay a Paper on the Table explaining the transaction in question, which we consider to be perfectly regular and authorized by Statute; and I shall be glad to communicate with my right hon. Friend on the form of such a Paper. Perhaps as to his last Question I may say that Savings Banks Funds, whether Trustee or Post Office, do not come into the Pay Office.