§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Montrose Burghs)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether a majority of the Commissioners of the Caisse of the public Debt is competent to sanction any expenditure proposed to be made therefrom.
There are two funds, one, the larger, derived from the conversion, for the expenditure of which the unanimous consent of the Powers is required; the other, a smaller one, amounting now to about two-and-a-half millions, which can be disposed of by the majority of the Caisse.
§ MR. J. MORLEY
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman which of the two funds may be resorted to in virtue of this application?
§ MR. J. MORLEY
Will the right hon. Gentleman inform us where the instrument is in which that information is given?
It is to be found in the decree constituting the Reserve Fund and the Commission of the Debt, dated, I think, 1876.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
I will ask the right hon. Gentleman to state what document is in existence in which it is set forth that the majority of votes have authority to deal with this matter, as it was distinctly stated they have?
I may have been wrong as to the date; I did not expect the question to be raised or I would have informed myself; but the text of which I have stated the substance is to be found in that decree.
§ MR. E. H. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S. W.)
May I ask whether there are any precedents for spending money from the first Reserve Fund without the unanimous consent of the Powers ["Order, order!"]
§ [The Question was not answered.]