HC Deb 07 July 1885 vol 298 cc1934-5

Resolutions [6th July] reported.


said, he should like to have some information with regard to the Secret Service money. He pointed out that there was no audit in respect of the Vote from the Consolidated Fund. The balance of that money that was not used was surrendered; but although for many years the Secretary of the Treasury had been drawing these £10,000 on his receipt, he had never rendered any accounts. It appeared, therefore, that there was probably a large amount of unexpended Secret Service money in the hands of the Treasury; what the amount was, of course, none but the authorities could tell. But the balance had to be surrendered when a Government went out of Office, and he presumed that the present Secretary to the Treasury would be able to inform the Committee what was the amount at present in the hands of the Treasury. He did not ask for a scrap of information as to what was done with the money which was handed over to the Department for application. In the old days it was used for the purposes of corruption; but it was, of course, impossible to suppose that anything of the kind took place now. He asked the Secretary to the Treasury to say whether there was any reason why he should not state what was the amount of the unexpended balance at present in the hands of the Treasury?


said, the hon. Member was probably aware that the subject was before the Public Accounts Committee, one of the points which they had to consider being whether there should be an audit, and to what extent, of this £10,000. It was, of course, impossible that the Comptroller and Auditor General should be made acquainted with the details of the expenditure of the Secret Service money; it stood to reason that if he were it would no longer be Secret Service money; and it was, therefore, only a question what was the nature of the voucher with which the Comptroller and Auditor General should be satisfied under the Exchequer and Audit Act.


explained that he did not ask for any information with regard to the expenditure of this money. But the Public Accounts Committee had reported last year that the amount received by the Patronage Secretary was not audited at all. His question did not, however, refer to that, but to the amount of unexpended money in the hands of the Treasury. Did it, or did it not, amount to the sum of about £140,000?


That is, of course, a question which I am unable to answer.

Resolutions agreed to.