HC Deb 02 May 1895 vol 33 c311

I have made some observations on the former heads of this statement. It is, however, idle to preach homilies on the subject of expenditure. No one will listen to them. There is a universal demand for more and more expenditure every year for every conceivable object, all of them excellent objects, but all of them pursued absolutely without any regard to their cost. Besides these demands for additional expenditure for every possible object, there are continual proposals to cut off first one and then another item of the public revenue. In private establishments you endeavour to regulate your outlay with some regard to your income, but in the public administration you have to make your taxation keep pace with your profusion. I am not going to preach a sermon on this subject, because economy (not only political economy) has become a lost art at the close of the century. It is a despised and unfashionable idea, and I do not know whether, under any circumstances, it will ever come into fashion again. Everyone grumbles if money is not spent on his favourite fancy, but he grumbles still more when he is called upon to find the means of paying for it. But now, having made up our minds to spend this unexampled sum, it is time to consider what are the means we possess and what further means we require to defray the cost.