HC Deb 13 March 1894 vol 22 cc139-40

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state in what portion of the Estimates, and under what head, the expenditure for lighthouse maintenance, mercantile marine offices, casualty returns, chain cables, saving life, relief of distressed seamen abroad, boiler explosions, pensions, and interest, which amounted together in the year ending 31st March, 1893, to £637,034, will be shown; by what clause, if any, of the Appropriation Act the application of this sum to these Services is sanctioned; and if these items of expenditure are nowhere shown in the Estimates, whether he proposes in any, and, if so, what, manner to submit the details of items involving so large an expenditure of public money to the control of this House?


These expenses come out of the Mercantile Marine Fund, the greater portion of which is not voted, and therefore does not appear in the Estimates. The portion which is voted (£50,000 last year) is included in the Estimates under Mercantile Marine Fund (Grant in Aid) Class II., Vote 17, and the application of this sum is sanctioned by Clause 111 of the Appropriation Act. The whole of the expenditure out of the Mercantile Marine Fund is reported on by the Comptroller and Auditor General in the Appropriation Account which is presented to Parliament, so that details of the items involved in the expenditure referred to come before Parliament.


Will it be competent for us to discuss this expenditure on any Vote whatsoever?


I am unable to answer that question without notice.

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