§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the sum of £16,216 15s. 1½d. paid annually to the Duchy of Cornwall for compensation for duties on coinage of tin, ought, in accordance with the Treasury Minute of 15th February 1839, to have been reduced, as from the 5th April 1841, by the sum of £634 14s. 2d. in lieu of post groats; and, whether, for nearly 45 years, an annual excess of £634 14s. 2d. has been paid out of the Consolidated Fund to the Duchy of Cornwall; and, if yes, what steps Her Majesty's Government will take in the matter for the recovery of such excess, and in restraint of future over payment?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER) (Wolverhampton, E.)
In reply to the hon. Member, I have to inform him that pursuant to the provision of the Act 1 & 2 Vict. c. 120, the Treasury, by the Minute to which the hon. Member refers, fixed the annual payment to be made to the Duchy of Cornwall at £16,216 15s. 1½d. The Minute also proposed that after April 5, 1841, a deduction of £634 14s. 2d. should be made, as stated in the Question. The Council of the Duchy of Cornwall objected to this deduction as illegal. The Treasury acquiesced in the objection, and there is no doubt that the view taken by the Council of the Duchy was the correct one.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
asked, whether there was any official record at the Treasury as to the Minute referred to; and whether that record did not show that the payment of £634 14s. 2d. ought not to be continued?
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
The hon. Member is under an entire misapprehension of the facts of the case. There was an official communication pointing out unanswerably the illegality, and the Treasury at once acquiesced in that view, and have continued to do so for 40 years.