§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, having regard to the fact that in the Supplementary Estimates for Civil Services recently issued it is stated under Class VI. that the deficiency in the Post Office Savings Banks Fund for 1896 proved greater than was anticipated in February, 1897, and that the Estimate of £3,791, which was voted by Parliament in the early part of last Session, has to be supplemented by a further sum of £2,371, will he state whether this deficiency of £6,162 in the Post Office Savings Banks Fund is for the year ending 31st December, 1896; and will he 288 explain why this inaccurate Estimate, made on 22nd February, 1897, remained undetected on the 29th July, 1897, the date on which the Postmaster General signed his annual report?
§ MR. HANBURY
The deficiency of £6,162 in the Post Office Savings Banks Fund mentioned in the Supplementary Estimates for 1897–98 is for the year ending the 31st December, 1896. The sum of £3,791 mentioned in the Postmaster General's Report of last year as the amount of the deficiency was the Estimate made early in the year, and which appeared in the Supplementary Estimates of 1896–97. At the time the Report was prepared the Postmaster General was not aware that the National Debt Commissioners had revised their estimate of the deficiency.