HC Deb 01 April 1887 vol 313 cc229-30
MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is the case that the India Council largely supplements its revenue by lending out, for short and varying periods, upon Indian Government Securities, the greater part of its surplus balances; and. whether, with a view to the increase of the Imperial Revenue, and to the reduction of the interest on the National Debt, he will consider the expediency of pursuing a like course as regards the large surplus balances on hand from time to time, as set forth in the Bank of England Returns, under the head of "Public Deposits," and of making temporary loans upon Imperial Government Securities?


It is the practice of the Secretary of State in Council to lend his surplus balances for short periods; but it can hardly be said that the result is "largely" to supplement the revenue, the average amount received on this account being only about £24,000 per annum. With respect to "Public Deposits" at the Bank of England, it is to to noted that they include the balance of the Council of India and other cash balances on the Public Accounts, besides the Exchequer balance. These other balances, which constitute a material part of "Public Deposits," are not generally in excess of the requirements of the various Public Departments; and it is only for a short period in the year—that is, towards its close—that The Exchequer balance is in any way excessive. The question, however, of balances generally is one well deserving of consideration. It has already engaged my attention, and I hope arrangements may be made in the direction of reducing The balances.