§ I. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £35,200, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, in respect of sundry public buildings in Great Britain, not provided for on other Votes."
*SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
said he thought that the right hon. Gentleman who was speaking the preceding evening when the House adjourned had given a somewhat remarkable explanation in dealing with the question of the Census buildings. It would be recollected that he declared the buildings had been enlarged in consequence of the increased staff which had been necessitated by the alterations made in the form of the Census Returns. Now, he did not think that that adequately explained the additional Vote which was being asked for. The alterations made in the form of the census were comparatively small, and yet the Committee was asked for a supplementary sum of £2,100 in addition to the £4,000 voted last year. The Supplementary Estimate represented, in fact, over half of the original Estimate. The increase could not be accounted for by the removal of the very inconvenient buildings in Charles Street, Whitehall, which were used when the last census was taken. Undoubtedly those buildings were not suited to the purposes to which they were applied, and he was very sorry indeed that the money now voted was not to be used for providing proper accommodation for tin; clerks. The buildings were made of galvanised iron lined with wood and other materials, and bearing in mind that much of the work had to be done at a period of the year when great heat prevailed, it was clear that those engaged upon it had to 212 labour under conditions injurious to their health and detrimental to the efficiency of their work. Now, these old buildings were simply to be removed from one site to another, and a further building of the same type was to be provided for the fifty additional female clerks who were to be employed in the compilation of the census. In this matter he did not think they got good value for their money, and, in view of the enormous expenditure to which this country was committed for war purposes, he did feel that it was the duty of every Member to watch the Estimates very closely in order to see that at any rate the money was not wasted. Would it not have been better for the right hon. Gentleman, in framing the Estimate, to have considered whether the money could not have been spent more usefully, cither in hiring a better building, or by making a beginning by way of providing permanent offices for census purposes? It seemed to him a very dangerous piece of economy to use buildings of that kind for the storage of documentary evidence in view of the danger of destruction by fire. A wooden house covered with galvanised iron was certainly not a suitable place in which to keep public documents collected at the cost of such enormous expenditure and trouble. It seemed to him that they were by no means getting value for their money, for the only return they were apparently to have for the additional estimate of £2,100 was the removal of three or four iron buildings from one place to another and the provision of an additional one. He really could not understand how so much money could be spent on the work, and he was driven to the conclusion that this particular Estimate afforded one more illustration of the miscalculations of which the framers of the various estimates had been guilty. He thought they were entitled to some explanation in regard to that, as well as in respect of the large Supplementary Vote asked for in connection with Hertford House and the Imperial institute. The case of the Imperial Institute and the London University was an equally remarkable instance. In the last Estimates £8,770 were voted for the adaptation of the buildings for use by the London University, and now no less than £9,960 addi- 213 tional were asked for. Surely £18,000 was a large amount for adapting the buildings for the use of the university. Even if preparations were being made for a teaching university, the original estimate ought at any rate to have been much nearer the amount actually required. The London University would also come up under another Vote in regard to the preparation of a laboratory which was necessary for carrying on the examining purposes of the university. Then there was an additional Vote of £3,000 for the Patent Office. All these matters indicated a laxity of circulation which ought not to exist in public-affairs. Any private firm which carried on its business under such conditions would soon be in a condition of bankruptcy. In these times when, considering the burden the country was likely to have to bear in the near future, economy ought to be the great consideration in connection with public expenditure, he felt hound to call the attention of the Committee to these points.
§ *SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
remarked that, with regard to the Imperial Institute, many of the acts which had had to be done were not discovered to be necessary until the University moved into the buildings. One of the chief objects of the reorganisation had been to make the University a teaching body, and for that purpose many rooms, though perhaps not exactly class-rooms at present, were required for the examination of both the internal and external students and for the enlarged work contemplated on the part of the University. But however much the Vote had been, there were still one or two things urgently required to lie done. The sanitary arrangements were not at all satisfactory, and in the case of the large hall for examinations the ventilation was so bad as to be a positive disadvantage to the students who were examined. Not only the University, but also the Civil Service candidates were affected by this, as they were examined in the same building, and for such occasions the conditions ought to be made as suitable as possible, as the tenure of this hall by the University had been an express condition of the removal to South Kensington, which had been very re- 214 luctantly consented to by himself and other members of the Senate. There was also a question of fees and payments to examiners at present between the Senate and the Treasury, and if the latter took the fees to the end of the financial year, it ought to bear all expenses to the same date, in order that the University might start clear with the not too liberal grant which was suggested. The attempt to get back the large hall primarily for the Civil Service, as a condition of the proposed new grant, would be very strongly resisted by the Senate. The chemical laboratory was also badly ventilated, and this should be attended to without delay.
§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Wexford, N.)
pointed out, as a matter in which many Members were interested, that no provision was made in the census arrangements for a religious census. He did not agree with the complaint with regard to the money spent in arrangements for the housing of the Wallace collection. It was not easy to spend too much money on housing works of art. He congratulated the British public on having obtained this magnificent collection, but regretted that some of the pictures were not given to Ireland, seeing that very large estates, known as the Wallace Estates, used to be held in Ireland, from, the rental of which estates, he imagined, a good deal of the money which purchased these pictures was provided. With regard to the adaptation of the Imperial Institute for the London University, he quite agreed that these buildings should be made convenient and comfortable for the people who used them. The Vote, however, would not excite much sympathy on the Irish benches, seeing that it provided nearly £10,000 practically as an endowment of a university in England, where there were so many universities, whereas a university for Irish Catholics was denied. If for no other reason he would challenge a division on this Vote as a protest against the continued neglect of Ireland in the matter of university education. As to the Supplementary Vote for the introduction and extension of electric lighting in public buildings in England, he hoped it would lead to a similar introduction in the public buildings of Ireland.
§ Mr. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said that the question particularly raised was that there were a number of Supplementary Votes, the large majority of which ought not to appear as Supplementary Estimates at all, but should have been foreseen and included in the original Estimates. That was the point the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner endeavoured to meet on the previous evening, but his explanations were not altogether satisfactory. Several items were disposed of on the ground that they were advantageous, but that was not the ground at all on which they were objected to. In reply to requests for information the right hon. Gentleman said that he could give information with regard to new items, but not with regard to old.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Mr. AKERS DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
explained that the complaint was that no particulars were given on the paper in regard to anything except items appearing under subhead "A," to which he replied that it had always been the practice, not only in Supplemental Estimates but also in the original Estimates, to give the new works under subhead "A" in full, while the others were in general terms.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
was sorry he misunderstood the right hon. Gentleman. The rule was all very well when there were very few Supplementary Estimates or none at all, but there were now an unprecedented number, and it was only right and just that the information which had been given across the table should have been printed on the Estimates themselves. The reply on some of the points to which the previous evening ho (the speaker) directed attention was inadequate and unsatisfactory. The expenditure for extensions of the War Office, being due to the pressure of the war, was properly made the subject of a Supplementary Estimate, because in the ordinary way it could not be foreseen, especially by the present Government. The argument with regard to the Census buildings was that since the original estimate was voted it had been determined to obtain further information in the census, involving a certain amount of 216 additional expenditure. What were the alterations which would increase the cost by no less than one-third of the original sum? There was a great deal of force in the contention that with such large expenditure there should be something in the nature of a permanent building rather than a tin house, which was not only useless in the future, but dangerous to health. As to the £3,000 extra for the Patent Office extension, it was said that that was to provide library accommodation. If there was one thing more than another which might have been anticipated, or in which there was no possible urgency for a few months, surely it was the provision of library accommodation for the Patent Office. This was another illustration of the absolute laxity prevailing in regard to the Estimates, and of the manner in which, very largely in consequence of their strength in the House, the Government were able and willing to allow things to be done, but in which, if their majority was smaller, they would never dare to present them to the House. There was another item for the erection of a new Die and Medal Department. Was that a matter of urgent necessity? The right hon. Gentleman did not argue that point, and therefore he did not see that he had any right to put it in the form of a Supplementary Estimate. He said nothing in regard to the very large expenditure upon electric lighting, and that was a matter which ought to be provided in the original Estimate, and which might have stood over for the new Estimates. The right hon. Gentleman did not say anything in regard to the general proposition which was discussed last night as to why these Supplementary Estimates should be of such an enormous amount, covering a larger number of Votes—twenty-nine, with seventy-six sub-divisions—than any other previous Supplementary Estimates, lie thought they were entitled to have some information from the Government why it was that there had been this laxity in regard to the Estimates, and if there had been a long discussion in regard to these different items the fault was entirely with the Government themselves. If this Supplementary Estimate had been introduced with proper information it would have been passed last night. They had to drag their information from the 217 right hon. Gentleman across the floor of the House, and that was the reason why this prolonged discussion had taken place, and he hoped it would continue until they got fuller information in regard to those matters.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
With regard to the general charge made by the hon. Member who has just sat down, regarding the want of information, that is a matter which does not devolve upon me. I am not responsible for the preparation of the Supplementary Estimates as a whole, but I am responsible for those items which come more particularly under my management.
As to the question raised by the hon. Member opposite in regard to the Census buildings. I gave an explanation last night which I am sorry he did not think entirely satisfactory. I pointed out that this excess was caused because when in 1899–90 this Estimate for the Census buildings was prepared, it was thought that the buildings which had been sufficient for the staff which conducted the last census would have been sufficient upon the present occasion. Since that amount was estimated the temporary buildings had been moved, and it was found that additional accommodation was required, especially for the female staff. In addition to that, in order to meet many of the objections which the hon. Member so justly pointed out with regard to the nature of the buildings, and at the request of the Registrar General, we spent money on the extra ventilation of these buildings, and fitting them with the electric light, which makes them much healthier to work in. We have, therefore, done something to meet the requirements of the people who work in those buildings, and in regard to the electric light it was not foreseen that an installation of this light would be required.
With regard to providing permanent buildings for the census, that is a very much larger question, and it is one on which I do not think the hon. Member will find I am at all averse to placing myself in line with him. That, however, is a question which we need not discuss at any length to-day, for the hon. Member has found an answer to it himself on the present occasion, for he has stated 218 that we are spending too much money already. In the near future I should be glad to see some permanent buildings provided for the census.
The hon. Gentleman asked me a question with regard to the adaptation of Hertford House for the Wallace collection. This expenditure was incurred in order to hasten on the work, and I could not possibly have foreseen this in the the preparation of the Estimate. Neither my Department nor myself are responsible for the administration of Hertford House, for we have only to deal with the structural alterations of the building. The extra work at Hertford House was asked for by the trustees who administer that building in so excellent a manner, but they are not under my jurisdiction. A request was made for this further work to be proceeded with at once in order that no delay might take place, and that the public should have the earliest opportunity of visiting the collection. The hon. Member for North Wexford complained that none of these pictures had been sent to Ireland, but perhaps he will remember that the bequest provides that the collection must be kept in London, and therefore it is not within the power of the Government to accede to the hon. Member's request.
Some remarks have been made in regard to the necessity of a Patent Office Library, and it is said that that charge might have been anticipated. I made an answer to that point last night. The additional sum spent to complete the buildings was incurred because we were specially desirous of hastening on this work in order to save, as far as possible, the £700 a year which is the rent being-paid for a temporary home for the library while these alterations were going on. By this expenditure of £3,000 we shall be able to make the library complete, and transfer the books from the temporary home, thus relieving the country of an expenditure of some £700 a year for three years. Therefore I think it was well worth while incurring this expenditure to hurry the adaptation of the building, in order to avoid the necessity of taking on another lease for three years of this temporary home at a rental of £700 per annum.
With regard to the alterations and arrangements at Cleveland House, I 219 think the hon. Member expressed himself satisfied with the explanation I have already given. This expenditure was necessary in consequence of the increase of the War Office staff, and this could not possibly have been foreseen in December, when the Estimates were prepared. The same argument will also apply to the introduction and the extension of the electric light at Cleveland House.
§ MR. FIELD (Dublin. St. Patrick's)
asked if the First Commissioner of Works would give them an explanation of the "Imperial Institute, London University," item. He thought that required some explanation.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
The reason for this excess on the Imperial Institute has really been given by my hon. friend below me. It is really impossible in the transfer of a great institution like the London University into fresh quarters to foresee what would be required by that institution. The chief items of expenditure have been for certain structural alterations with regard to a new entrance and providing other rooms that had to be found in substitution for the rooms which were taken over by the London University. In addition there has been some unforeseen expenditure with regard to the library, and I think the Committee will agree with me that in moving a very large library like this it is almost impossible to forecast what the cost will be. I am bound to say that a large amount of this expenditure has taken place in regard to the sanitary arrangements of the new home of the London University. I agree with him that not nearly enough sanitary requirements have been provided for; and the question of the health of those who use the building is a subject which will probably be discussed when we come to the Estimates on a future occasion. But in regard to the charge that there has been any want of foresight in the planning of the additions to these buildings, I may say that they were not designed by the Government expert, but by the very distinguished and worthy architect of the original Imperial Institute, Mr. Collcutt. It is not so easy for the Department to make any accurate estimate when they do not carry out the work themselves. Some of the require- 220 ments of the London University were not known to us until late last year. I do not blame the University officials, because until they were able to overhaul their books, maps, etc., they were not in a position to estimate exactly the expenditure of reinstating them. I think I have met, so far as I can, the inquiries that have been made in regard to this particular Vote.
§ *MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)
said that the right hon. Gentleman had not mentioned, although careful attention had been given to his remarks, anything in regard to the condition of the Census buildings. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the House had demanded that certain alterations should be made in the form of the Census Returns, and that, therefore, additional clerks would lie required. They must all rejoice that the right hon. Gentleman was going to make it a rule that the clerks would work-under more sanitary conditions than at the last census. He wished that the First Commissioner of Works would give the Committee some information as to the particular alterations he intended to make.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
said that this was a Building Vote, and he did not think that the work done by the clerks of the Registrar General could be discussed under it.
§ *MR. TENNANT
said hon. Members were entitled to inquire whether additional rooms were, required for the lady clerks, or whether additional rooms and clerks were required at all. That was his first point; but his next was that it seemed to him rather peculiar that under subhead F there should be an increase of £1.200 for the supply of water. Surely that was a matter that obviously ought to have been foreseen by any Government Department.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
said that the additional expenditure was due to new boilers for the engines which forced the supply of water, and not for the supply of water in the ordinary course.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)
said this Vote of £35,200 seemed a very large sum, and the different heads under which it was set out showed certainly a very extraordinary want of foresight on the part of the officials, whoever they were, who had made out the original Estimate. For New Works. Alterations, and Additions, the sum of £21,000 was the extra amount required. Of course, it might be necessary for architects to make variations on their plans from time to time, but it was an extraordinary thing that such a very large sum had not been contemplated in the original Estimate. It was most unfortunate if the Government desired to get the Votes through that they did not give any particulars whatever to the Committee. He quite appreciated the kindly and civil manner in which the right hon. the First Commissioner of Works had sought to meet every point raised, although he must say the right hon. Gentleman seemed rather disposed to ignore questions from the Irish benches, and to give a preference to complaints made above the gangway. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would be convinced in time that they on the Irish benches made their complaints bona fide, because he must know that every portion of the country was drawn upon to supply the money which was now being asked for, and that, therefore, the Irish representatives were as greatly interested in money matters as those from the other parts of the United Kingdom. It should not be forgotten that one-eleventh of the whole contributions to the Exchequer came from Ireland, and they had to complain that no sufficient ground whatever had been shown for the huge increase in expenditure, particularly at a time when they were every day adding to the enormous debt of the British Empire. Of course, under this Vote he was not allowed to refer to the increase of debt due to the war in South Africa, which was being piled up at the rate of two millions a week, but he would point out that the cost of home administration was also increasing to an alarming extent, and it was time that full details should be given before 222 they allowed the Votes to pass through Committee. There was one particular in the Vote with which Irishmen had very grave cause of complaint. They were handing over the Imperial Institute to the London University, and were spending £9,960 for the purpose of converting it to university uses. There was not a single Vote which ought to be more objectionable to Irishmen than that one. The vast majority of the people of Ireland were Catholics, and had asked over and over again that provision might be made for the establishment of a Catholic University in Ireland. Not only had their appeals fallen on deaf ears, but they had been met with contempt and scorn. Here was a large public building in London which, he understood, had been erected, not by voluntary or public contribution, or by the taxpayers of Great Britain, but by the free gift of the people of India to commemorate the Queens Jubilee in 1887. This large building was to be handed to the London University, and the taxpayers of Ireland were not only to be deprived of the Catholic University in Ireland, but to be called upon at the same time to pay their due proportion of the fitting up of the building for London University purposes. That was another illustration of the manner in which Irish claims were dealt with, and if on no other ground, he would resist the Vote. Ho trusted his friends on the Irish benches would seek to drive this point home more forcibly, for it was really a scandal that a Catholic University was not given to them in Ireland.
The hon. Gentleman is now discussing a subject that he himself has admitted is out of order.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
said there were other items on this Vote on which he wished for some information. £2,000 was asked on account of alterations to adapt Winchester House for the Intelligence Branch. He wanted to know what the intelligence was about. Was it in connection with the war in South Africa, or for what other purpose? On the whole, ho must say the Government had drawn very largely on the credulity of Irish Members in asking them to agree to a Vote of £35,200 223 without giving them any details. There was a sum of £3,125 for the adaptation of Hertford House for the Wallace Collection. Not a solitary picture frame from that collection was to come to Ireland. He wondered if hon. Members knew that a very large portion of the estate of the late Sir Richard Wallace was situated in the north of Ireland. There was no doubt that some of the art treasures accumulated by Sir Richard Wallace had been purchased by the money which he derived from his estates in Ireland. Of course they had no right to insist on the Government breaking the terms of the bequest. He knew himself there were always plenty of legal difficulties to be raised about the simplest questions, but, at the same time, when they were asked to vote these large sums of money without any details, it was only fair that proper opportunities should be given them to call attention to the differential treatment, if he might so term it which was accorded to London and to Ireland. Some of the replies given by the right hon. Gentleman were, in his opinion, most unsatisfactory; and on three several items which he had endeavoured to explain he had to admit that the headings and details were misleading. He complained that although the sum asked for showed an increase of nearly fifty per cent, in one of the items, on the original Estimate, the details and particulars given were of a very meagre character, and the accounts as presented to the Committee were not satisfactory, at all events so far as he was concerned. One to which he took particular exception was the item dealing with the alterations at Winchester House, in order to adapt it for the occupation of the Intelligence Branch. If it was intended to make this a sort of appanage of the War Office Department, he thought the Committee would be wrong to pass it, for of all things, that the War Office had hopelessly broken down was most patent to the country, lie moved to reduce the Vote by the sum of £2,000.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £33,200, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Farrell.)
§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
asked for information with 224 regard to the nature of the alterations said to be required in Winchester House. According to his experience of the public service, it was a common trick of new officials to find fault with their room, to say, for example, that it was too small, and to ask the Office of Works to knock-two or three rooms into one. Then, after a time, another new official would come in and say the room was too large, and ask the Office of Works to put up the party walls again, and incur the whole expense of restoring the place to the same condition as before. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would show a stiff front to all such demands.
§ MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
supported the reduction, as in his opinion it was only proper when the Government brought forward a Supplementary Estimate of this kind they should give full particulars of how the money was to be expended. It had been said it was impossible to put down a complete Estimate in this ease, because it was drawn up originally in 1899; but if that were so, it was all the more important that complete details should be given now, as only those who had the opportunity of hearing the explanations were in a position to form a judgment. He thought it would be greatly to the advantage of Members of the Committee if full details were given of these Estimates.
§ MR. O'DOHERTY (Donegal, N.)
considered the explanation given, by the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works was one that could not be accepted by the Irish Members. Upon one item—"fuel, light, and household articles"—he would like to draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the merits of compressed peat. That was a matter worth considering at a time when coal-owners were putting up the prices, and did not allow the workmen to participate in rooking the public. The right hon. Gentleman might try the use of peat as an experiment, at all events, and he would find that he would not only save the public funds, but would be the means of developing a very large industry in Ireland. With regard to the amount required for the erection of a new-die and medal department at the Royal 225 Mint, he would suggest, if it was intended to build a now department for the striking of medals for those who had taken part in the war, that there should also be a tannery attached to it, as most of the officers at the war and the whole of
§ the War Office officials required, not gold, nor silver, but leathern medals.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 144; Noes, 207. (Division List No. 27.)227
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Ferguson, B. C. Munro (Leith)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Ffrench. Peter||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Field, William||O'Doherty, William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Flynn, James Christopher||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Atherley Jones, L.||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Blake, Edward||Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Kelly, Conor. (Mayo, N.)|
|Boland, John||Gilhooly, James||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, X.|
|Boyle, James||Goddard, Daniel Foul||O'Malley, William|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur||Grant, Corrie||O'Mara, James|
|Brigg, John||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hammond, John||Perks. Robert William|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harmsworth, B. Leicester||Price, Robert John|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hayden, John Patrick||Rea,.Russell|
|Caldwell, James||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Sir Chas. Seale-||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Cameron, Robert||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Beddy, M.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Carew, James Laurence||Jacoby, James Alfred||Roche, John|
|Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton||Jordon, Jeremiah||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Joyce, Michael||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Labouchere, Henry||Sinclair, Capt. J.(Forfarshire)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Colville, John||Leng, Sir John||Spencer,Rt Hn CR (Northants)|
|Condon. Thomas Joseph||Levy, Maurice||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lough, Thomas||Sullivan, Donal|
|Crean, Eugene||Lundon, W.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Crombie, John William||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Cullinan, J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Daly, James||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Tully, Jasper|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Dermott, Patrick||Wallace, Robert|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Fadden, Edward.||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||M'Govern, T.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Delany, William||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Dewar, J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Dillon, John||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Whiteley, George(York, W.R.)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mooney, John J.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Dutty, William J.||Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dunn, Sir William||Murphy, J.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Edwards, Frank||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wodehouse, Hn Armine(Essex|
|Elibank, Master of||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Norman, Henry||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Farquharson. Dr. Robert||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Farrell, James Patrick||O' Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid||Sir Thomas Esmonde and|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Captain Donelan.|
|Acland-Hood. Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzBoy||Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir M. H(Bristol|
|Agnew. Sir Andrew Noel||Bailey, James (Walworth)||Beckett, Ernest William|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Balcarres, Lord||Bignold, Arthur|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Baldwin, Alfred||Bill,. Charles|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Blundell, Colonel Hemy|
|Arrol, Sir William||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Bond, Edward|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Banbury, Frederick Ceorge||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex|
|Austin, Sir John||Bartley,. George C. T.||Bowles, T. Gibson. (King's Lynn,|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Greene, Sir E.W. (Bury St. Ed.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh.||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Penn, John|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hain, Edward||Percy, Earl|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Mid'x||Powell, Sir Francis|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nd'rry||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbysh.||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pym, C. Guv|
|'Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Heath, James(Staftbrds., N. W.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.||Henderson, Alexander||Rasche, Major Frederic Came|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r||Hermon-Hodge, Rbt. Trotter||Reed, Sir E. James (Cardiff)|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Hope, J. F. (S'hef'ld. Brightside||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E.||Howard, Cap. J (Kent, Faversh.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Coddington, Sir William||Howard,J. (Midd., Tottenham||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hozier, Hon. James Henry C.||Renwick, George|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Ridley. S. F. (Bethnal Green)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Knowles, Lees||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lawrence, William F.||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Cook, Frederick Lucas||Lawson. John Grant||Round, James|
|Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)||Lecky. Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H.||Royds. Clement Molyneux|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lee, Cap. A. H (Hants., Fareh'm||Russell T. W.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Legge, Col. Hon. Haneage||Rutherford, John|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Leighton, Stanley||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Saunderson. Rt. Hn. Cl. Edw. J.|
|Dewar, TR (T'rH'mlets, S.Geo.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,S||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dickson-Povnder, Sir John P.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Shaw, Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lowther, C. Cumb., Eskdale)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Smith, HC (North'mb Tyneside|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Doxtord, Sir William Theodore||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E.||Spear, John Ward|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Spencer, Ernest(W. Bromwich)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Maconochie, A. W.||Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir WilliamHart||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||M'Calmot, Col. J. (Antrim, E.||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||M'Killop, James (Stirlingsh.)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Eaber, George Denison||Malcolm. Ian||Stroyan, John|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Manners, Lord Cecil||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Fellowes. Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Markham, Arthur Basil||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John Wm.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Milton, Viscount||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose.||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wason, John Catheart(Orkney)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Montagu. G. (Huntingdon)||Webb, Colonel William Geo.|
|Flannery, Sir Fortesque||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrell, George Herbert||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Uni.||Morris, Hon. Martin H. F.||Wilson-Todd. Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Garfit, William||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath|
|Godson,Sir Augustus Fred'rick||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wyndham. Rt. Hon. George|
|Gordou, Hn J.E.(Elgin & Nairn||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Yerburgb, Robert Armstrong|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath.)||Young, Commander) Berks, E.)|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Nicholson, William Graham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Nicol, Donald Ninian||William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)
said he thought they had some cause of complaint in regard to this Supplementary Estimate, inasmuch as there was a very large proportion of it which still remained absolutely without any explanation whatever. Mo doubt there were times when there were exigencies which caused the 228 original Estimates to be exceeded, and they must pass Supplementary Estimates to make up the required amount. The practice had been growing to make these Supplementary Estimates for large sums of money, which could not be regarded as the result of a mistake in the original Estimate. The reason for this seemed to be a little difficult to understand. It either meant that there was great in- 229 competency on the part of those who prepared the Estimates in submitting a smaller amount than was really required, or else it must mean that the Government were afraid to put in the original Estimate the full amount required for the various Departments, and hoped to smuggle through the extra amount in the Supplementary Estimates, which were not fully explained. That was very unsatisfactory indeed, and he thought it was the duty of the House of Commons to resist the attempts which were made to remove these Estimates from the fullest investigation. This item of £35,200 was no small amount. It was a large amount, and there was only £31,000 attempted to be explained. He admitted that the right hon. Gentleman had given some explanation which might justify the increased expenditure, but it did not seem that he was justified in putting it in a Supplementary Estimate. He thought that might have been brought up in a proper way. Was it right that the Committee should be asked to pass a large sum of money like this without a single word of explanation before them? In regard to the sum of £14,200 he had before asked an explanation, but the right hon. Gentleman had not vouchsafed any. He noticed that in one case £5,500 was set down for rents, insurance, and tithe rent-charges. The Government must fully know what they had to pay, and the Committee ought to have an explanation why the amount was not included in the original Estimate. He had no doubt that the extra expenditures were absolutely correct, but the Committee had no knowledge of them, and it was possible, as he showed on the previous night, even in such a homely thing as furniture, to crowd in things which wore not furniture at all, and which called forth comment from the Comptroller and Auditor General. It was part of their duty to try to prevent the forcing of Estimates through the House without getting a full and proper explanation of them. He moved that the Vote be reduced by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £35,100, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Goddard.)230
§ MR. FIELD
supported the proposal to reduce the Vote. He believed the system which had now been adopted with regard to the Supplementary Estimates was altogether wrong. The Government objected to supplementary questions, but they certainly had no objection to Supplementary Estimates. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House had obtained an Order objecting to supplementary questions being asked on foreign affairs, but the hon. Member thought they should also have an Order in regard to Supplementary Estimates. In this Vote there was an increase of no less than one-tenth of the whole amount. The total was £350,000 and the Supplementary Estimate was £35,000. He held that, if any business man conducted his affairs in the same way that the financial affairs of this Empire were conducted, he would simply be bankrupt in a very short time. Hon. Members got the Supplementary Estimates the day before they came to be considered. That was not a businesslike way of dealing with these matters. He would support the reduction of the Vote as a protest against a system which, in his opinion, was being abused not only by this Government, but by every Government which had been in power since he came into the House.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said he had again and again called attention to the practice of bringing enormous Supplementary Estimates before the Committee, and more than three years ago he was assured by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that they had seen the last of this mischievous system. He had drawn the attention of the Government not only to the inconvenience of the practice, but also to the absolute destruction of our system of national accounts which it involved. Supplementary Estimates ought to be jealously avoided when it was in any way possible. They ought to be jealously kept for occasions which, could not possibly be foreseen when the original Estimates were made. When the practice of introducing Supplementary Estimates was seen to be growing year after year, it was calculated to produce the impression that there was a sot purpose of interfering with the control of the House of Commons. He 231 did not know who might be responsible for this method of false finance, but it was a system of falsifying the accounts, because when the Chancellor of the Exchequer produced his Budget and told the House he required a certain amount of money for the expenditure of the year, it was an outrage that he should come afterwards and ask for five or six millions more. He earnestly hoped the Government would give serious attention to this matter, and in future years refrain from calling upon the Committee to consider as Supplementary Estimates matters which really and properly belonged to the original Estimates.
§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said that year after year it had been the practice of the Government to endeavour to take these Votes from the review of the Committee. First they came for Votes on Account, and then they brought in Supplementary Estimates. If the officials of the House knew that they could get a, Supplementary Vote on this and that item they became very careless in the manner they framed their Estimates, and the Ministers in charge of the Votes, knowing that if they sat tight until twelve o'clock the discussion would close, were not nearly so careful as they used to be in regard to explanations. When the rules providing for the closure of Supply were first introduced, Mr. Courtney said that one of the certain results would be negligence on the part of Departments in making up their accounts, and, to a certain extent, negligence on the part of Ministers in charge of defending the Votes, and he predicted a large increase of Votes on Account and also of Supplementary Estimates. The same thing was predicted by the Irish Members, and events had justified the prediction.
§ *SIR EDGAR VINCENT (Exeter)
desired to add his protest against the system of finance which led to these very large Supplementary Estimates. In looking through the details of the Vote under discussion he could not see any item which should not have been foreseen when the original Estimate was prepared, or which could not have been postponed until the Estimates of the current year; and those were the only grounds upon which the inclusion 232 of any item with a Supplementary Vote could be justified. Taking the figures of the last ten years, he found that the amount of Supplementary Votes on the Civil Service Estimates was decidedly upon the increase. It was not a party question, and he hoped the Government would take a firm stand in future against the system, as it was greatly in the interests of financial government that it should he done.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN) Worcestershire, E.
said that, with regard to the general question of Supplementary Estimates, there seemed to be an impression in various parts of the Committee that they were a convenience to the Government. That certainly was not the case.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said the contention was that they were a convenience to the permanent officials.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
assured the Committee that it was the desire of the Government to limit Supplementary Estimates as strictly as possible. In recent years there had been, as the hon. Member for Exeter had pointed out. a tendency to increase the Supplementary Estimates, but it would he his duty, and it was the desire of the Government, to limit them as strictly as they could in future. The circumstances under which the Estimates were framed were well known to right hon. Gentlemen opposite; they were drawn up a long while beforehand, and it was impossible in all cases to foresee all the expenditure. With regard to the remark of the hon. Member for East Mayo, that the permanent officials preferred Supplementary Estimates to the ordinary Estimates of the year, he thought there was no foundation for such a suggestion. Many of the Votes under discussion were Votes which could not possibly have been introduced at an earlier time. In the circumstances of the present year there had been peculiar conditions, which had upset calculations made with as great an approach to accuracy as was possible at the time the original Estimates were framed. The Committee doubtless would recognise the exceptional circum- 233 stances of the year, and understand that the fact of there being so large a sum to be obtained by Supplementary Estimates was not an indication of any desire or intention on the part of the Government to increase Supplementary Estimates unnecessarily.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
thought the Amendment was moved as a general protest against the growing system of Supplementary Estimates. The objection was not to those matters which could not have been foreseen; there were no doubt such cases, but when the Supplementary Estimates kept increasing it was necessary to oppose every item that could not be shown to have been necessarily put in the form of a Supplementary Estimate. That was the only way in which the matter could be dealt with in a practical manner. The Financial Secretary had said that special care would be exercised in the future. Promises for "the future" were always being given. "The present" was now being dealt with, and if the Supplementary Estimates were reduced in the future it would be mainly due to the fact that they were opposed now. The real reason they had increased was that the Opposition had been very remiss in its duty. During the last Parliament Supplementary Estimates went up by leaps and bounds, because, instead of there being any real discussion upon them, the Opposition sat cowed and did not dare to do anything. They were going to adopt quite a different system in the present Parliament; they were going to fight the Government upon everything, because, although they were in a numerical minority at present, they represented the feelings of the country upon many questions in regard to finance, and they intended henceforth to do their duty. As no attempt at a case had been made for many of the present Supplementary Estimates, it was a very good opportunity to give the Government a hint of their intentions, which they were determined to carry out without fear of being accused of obstruction or anything of that sort.
§ MR. DILLON
was glad that the Financial Secretary had admitted the 234 justice of the complaint against these Supplementary Estimates, and promised that the Government would amend its ways in the years to come. But that promise had been given every year for the last seven or eight years, and instead of there being any sign of improvement things had got worse. The great increase in Supplementary Estimates, which was a sign of recklessness, carelessness, and indifference in dealing with public accounts, was but a symptom of a disease which was playing havoc with the public economy that the House of Commons was supposed to enforce. The reason these constant increases were brought forward was that the opinion had been growing on the permanent officials that the day had gone by when the Committee would find fault with any Estimate that was submitted. The recent statement of the First Lord of the Treasury, that it was the accepted practice of the House of Commons not to discuss any Estimate with a view to economy, was a direct invitation to every official to be indifferent in his accounts, and to have no fear of the House of Commons before his eyes, knowing perfectly well that if he made up a wrong Estimate he could put forward a Supplementary Estimate. The system betokened a fatal disease which was preying upon the whole of the spending departments of the country, and which would sooner or later cause an outbreak on the part of that most patient of all beings, the taxpayer of the United Kingdom. It was for these reasons the Opposition had taken up the position they had on that and the previous day, and that course of action had been amply justified. The Amendment might now very well be voted upon, in order that other important Votes could be discussed.
§ MR. MARTIN (Worcestershire, Droitwich)
remarked that if Supplementary Estimates were to be done away with altogether the tendency would be for the original Estimates to be drawn up very loosely, and not at all so strictly as they should be. That was a danger which should be kept in view.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)
felt it necessary to join in the protest against the large 235 Supplementary Estimates the Committee were always called upon to meet at the end of the financial year, a large proportion of which might have been included in the original Estimates of the various Departments. The Minister in charge always said that it should not occur again, but year after year the same thing happened. It seemed to be entirely beyond the power of Ministers to treat those matters in a businesslike way. No private business could conduct its financial affairs in such a fashion. The continual growth of the expenditure of the country was a matter of the gravest concern. Year by year the Committee with a light heart voted largely increasing expenditure, the taxation of the country grew heavier, and millions were added to the burdens of the nation. These matters could not be attacked in the gross; they must be considered in detail with a determination to lop off everything that was unnecessary. Ministers themselves ought to be grateful for the protest which had been made, because it would strengthen their hands in battling against the leading officials of their Departments, and in keeping down the Estimates. The House of Commons was gradually losing its grip over the expenditure of the country, and how the Chancellor of the Exchequer looked forward to his annual statement he did not know. He did not believe the Treasury would take the Committee to be serious in its protests until some Vote had been refused, and he ventured to hope the division would be successful in bringing the matter home to them.
§ MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
said there was no doubt the system of Supplementary Estimates was a very inconvenient one, and it was almost impossible for the House of Commons to keep a proper check on the expenditure of the country so long as the Committee were subject, after the Estimates had been more or less discussed, to demands for further large sums in the shape of Supplementary Estimates. At the same time, they could not do without Supplementary Estimates for unforeseen expenses. But a Public Accounts Committee sat during the session, and he would like to suggest that no Supplementary Estimate should be presented 236 to the House until it had been before that Committee. If that Committee investigated the figures, and satisfied themselves that the amounts asked for were such as should properly be embodied in Supplementary Estimates, the House might proceed to vote on such matters with much more confidence than at present.
§ *MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
thought it would be very unfortunate if this important matter was regarded from a party point of view. The suggestion of the hon. Member for the Horsham Division would not bear much examination from the constitutional standpoint. The Government must be held responsible for the proposals it placed before the House of Commons, and he should not be at all in favour of delegating that responsibility to any Committee.
§ MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE
explained that he did not for a moment suggest that the House should accept the Estimates as sent down from the Public Accounts Committee, but simply that it would save a great deal of time if it was known that they had been thoroughly examined upstairs.
§ *MR. JOHN ELLIS
said that would not at all do away with the constitutional objection. The Government must be held responsible from beginning to end for the demands they put before the House, and the burdens they placed upon the taxpayers. The hon. Member would see upon consideration that his suggestion would be fatal to all fixing of responsibility. These Supplementary Estimates were against all financial security, but the practice of presenting them was undoubtedly growing. He welcomed the assurance of the Financial Secretary, but the hon. Member had not a long period of official experience behind him, and his assurance must therefore be taken for what it was worth. The spirit shown on that and the previous evening with regard to the Estimates had been too long absent from the debates, and he welcomed its return. Finance would dominate this session and this Parliament. For long, as was well known to anyone of Parliamentary experience, Ministers of the highest con- 237 stitutional and financial reputations had uttered their protest against the methods involved in large Supplementary Estimates.
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||O'Doherty, William|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Ffrench, Peter||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Field, William||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Dowd, John|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Flynn, James Christopher||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Kerry, Jas. (Roscommon, N|
|Boland, John||Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Malley, William|
|Boyle, James||Gilhooly, James||O'Mara, James|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Grant, Corrie||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brigg, John||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Perks, Robert William|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hammond, John||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harms worth, R. Leicester||Price, Robert John|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Hayden, John Patrick||Rea, Russell|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir A. D.||Reddy, M.|
|Caldwell, James||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hope, John D. (Fife, West)||Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jacoby, James Alfred||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Jordan, Jeremiah||Roche, John|
|Carew, James Laurence||Joyce, Michael||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Lahouchere, Henry||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Sinclair, Capt. John(Forfarsh.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leng, Sir John||Soares, Ernest J,|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Levy, Maurice||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR (Northants|
|Colville, John||Lough, Thomas||Stevenson, Francis S,|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||MacDonnell, Dr Mark A.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Crean, Eugene||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Thomas Abel(Carmarthen, E.)|
|Crombie, John William||M'Arthur, William(Cornwall)||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Dermott, Patrick||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Daly, James||M'Fadden, Edward||Tully, Jasper|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Govern, T.||Ure, Alexander|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Wallace, Robert|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||M'Kenna, Reginald||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Delany, William||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Dillon, John||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Markham, Arthur Basil||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mooney, John J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Murphy, J.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Edwards, Frank||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N).||Williams, Osmond(Merioneth)|
|Elibank, Master of||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Ellis, John Edward||Norman, Henry||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Emmott, Alfred||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Evans, Samuel T.||O'Brien, Kendal Tipperary Mid|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Farrell, James Patrick||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W)||Mr. Goddard and Sir Brampton Gurdon.|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F||Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bignold, Arthur|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Balcarres, Lord||Bill, Charles|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Baldwin, Alfred||Blundell, Colonel Henry|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r||Bond, Edward|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-|
|Arrol, Sir William||Banbury, Frederick George||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bartley, George C. T.||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu|
|Austin, Sir John||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H (Bristol)||Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline EitzRoy||Beckett, Ernest William||Bullard, Sir Harry|
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, Noes, 211. (Division List No. 28.)239
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hain, Edward||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hamilton, Rt Hn L'rd G (Midd'x||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Pym, C. Guy|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Harris, F. L. (Tynemouth)||Quilrer, Sir Cuthbert|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N.W.)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Henderson, Alexander||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hope, J.F (Sheffield, Brightside||Renwick, George|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Howard, Capt J. (Kent, Faversh||Ridley, Hn. M.W(Stalyhridge)|
|Cochrane, Hon, Thos. H. A.E.||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Ritchie, Rt Hn Chas. Thompson|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Knowles, Lees||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lawson, John Grant||Round, James|
|Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)||Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge||Lee, Capt. AH (Hants. Fareham||Russell, T. W.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Rutherford, John|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Leighton, Stanley||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Cust, Henry C.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Dewar, T.R. (T'r H'mlets, S. Geo.||Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Shaw-Stewart, M.H.(Renfrew|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Dilke, Rt Hon. Sir Charles||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Smith, H. C. (North'mb., Tynes.|
|Dimsdale, Sir J. Cockfield||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Spear, John Ward|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E.||Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich)|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Macdona, John dimming||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormsk.)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Maconochie, A. W.||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Egerton. Hon. A. de Tatton||M'Calmont, Col.J.(Antrim, E.)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart|
|Elliot, Hon. Ralph Douglas||M'Killop, James(Stirlingshire||Stroyan, John|
|Faber, George Denison||Majendie, James A. H.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Malcolm, Ian||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Manners, Lord Cecil||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fergusson. Rt Hn.Sir J. (Manc'r||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Fielden, Edw. Brocklehurst||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Valencia, Viscount|
|Finch, George H.||Milton, Viscount||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Webb, Col. William George|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Welby, Lt.-Col. ACE (Taunton|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Morgan, D. J. (Walthatnstow)||Williams, Colonel R (Dorset)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Morrell, George Herbert||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Forster, Henry William||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Foster, Sir M. (Lond. Univ.)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Garfit, William||Mowbray, Sir Robert (tray C.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond.||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk,||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gordon, Hn J. E.(Elgin & Nairn)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Nicholson, William Graham||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Goschen, Hon. Ceo. Joachim||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S Edm'nds||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Penn, John||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Guthrie, Walter Murray||Percy, Earl|
§ 2. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £13,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for Rates and Contributions in 240 lieu of Rates, etc., in respect of Government property."
§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)
said this was one of the opportunities the Government would have of defending the principle on which the Supplementary Estimates had been made out. He wished to know why they had lumped 241 the amount for England and Ireland' together, instead of dividing them into different heads, and why there had been no explanation given as to how much was for England and how much for Ireland. Could it be said for a moment that the money required for the rates on these properties could not have been foreseen? These properties did not come into existence yesterday or since the Estimates were made out. These buildings in London were in existence and occupation, and they could easily have taken into account in the original Estimate the amount that would be required to be paid. He noticed that they had inserted a foot-note which stated—This additional sum is required to meet an increase in the poundage of rates in London and in many country districts; also in Ireland.That argument might apply in the case of an individual, but in London the rates were under their own control and they were not like those levied by local authorities. The Government had their own valuers, and there could be no difficulty whatever in estimating the amount of those rates beforehand, lie washed to know how it was that these rates had been increased? Why was it that they had increased rates in respect to England and Ireland and yet they had no increase whatever as far as Scotland was concerned? In the ease of England in the year 1890 the amount required for rates and contributions in lieu of rates in respect of Government property was £250,800, for Scotland the amount was £20,500, and for Ireland £41,000. Five years later, when they came to last year's Estimates, they found that the rates in England amounted to £385,000, and this was a Supplementary Estimate in addition which would bring the sum total up to nearly £400,000 instead of the £250.800 at which it stood five years ago. That was an enormous increase. How did the matter stand with regard to Ireland? In the year 1890, in Ireland the amount for rates and contributions in lieu of rates in respect of Government property was £41,000. and last year there was a slight increase, the amount being £42,000 instead of £41,000, but that was owing to the operation of the 242 Local Government Act. Practically speaking, so far as Ireland was concerned, for the last five years there had not been the slightest increase. As far as Scotland was concerned, if they would look at the Appropriation Accounts they would find that Scotland only got £17,000, and under these accounts if there was a saving in one country it went to the other country, and England had been getting the benefit of what Scotland had saved. They ought to have a uniform principle of valuation for England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The hon. Member is now going into the general question and he must be aware that that is not in order. He must confine himself to the subject-matter of the Estimate before the Committee.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said he was complaining, as he was quite entitled to complain, that the Government were coming to the House with Supplementary Estimates for England, whilst they had not found it necessary to make Supplementary Estimates for the other country.
That is not the point with which the hon. Member was dealing when I ruled him out of order. He was then going in to the general question.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said that as regarded these rates they ought to have an account of the amount of valuation and the taxes of the Government property throughout England, giving the details. That would facilitate them very considerably in getting at the proportion.
As I have already pointed out to the hon. Member, this is a point with which he cannot deal. He is now discussing the general principle, and that cannot be discussed upon a Supplementary Estimate. The hon. Member must confine himself to this Estimate.
§ MR. CALDWELL
contended that they were entitled to know how much of this 243 increased expenditure was due to increased poundage of rates, and the conditions under which this increase had been rendered necessary, and he would leave the matter in that form.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
This is one of those items which is not open to the criticism of which we have heard a good deal in the earlier part of the debate to-day and yesterday, to the effect that this increase could have been foreseen and ought to have been foreseen. The whole of this Supplementary Estimate is required to meet the increased poundage in the rates. The sum which the Government take is sufficient to pay the rates and the contributions in lieu of rates on all Government property, and it is also sufficient provision for the new Government property which we came into possession of in the course of the year. This provision is wholly and exclusively taken to cover the increased poundage of rates over which we have no control, and which rests entirely with the local authority. I think the lion. Member for Mid Lanark must know that we have no control in that sense over the exact amount of the rates. I think it is now agreed that the valuation of Government property made by the Government valuer has given universal satisfaction. That valuation has been accepted in Scotland and placed on the valuation rolls. They have been accepted equally in Ireland as fair and reasonable, and they have met with the same approval of the local authorities. Once those valuations are fixed we pay-as a contribution the amount which would be levied if the property was not Crown property. The whole of this amount is due to the increase of the poundage of the rates over which the Government have no control, and in order to carry out the bargain made at the request of lion. Members of this House with the local authorities, we are obliged to ask the Committee to make provision for this increased sum. The hon. Member for Mid Lanark inquires why this sum was necessary for England and Ireland and not for Scotland? That must be duo to the fact that the local authorities in Scotland 244 are very reluctant to raise the poundage of the rates.
§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE
said the Secretary to the Treasury was mistaken in saying that they were satisfied with the present valuation of Government property in Ireland, for the general complaint was that it was not valued sufficiently high. He was sorry that, according to the Chairman's ruling, it was not proper for them to discuss the principle on which the assessments of Government properties were made. He thought that on a matter of this great importance they ought to have some representative of the Irish Administration to give them the details of this extra sum of £3,000 which was required from Ireland. They were asked to vote this £3,000 as a Supplementary Estimate in connection with the rating of Government property in Ireland, and no information was given to them as to the way in which this £3,000 was to be expended. Ho presumed that the Secretary to the Treasury was not in a position to give the Committee this information, but he hoped that before this debate came to an end he would be able to give the Committee the details.
§ *SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said that, in regard to the rates and contributions in lieu of rates in respect of Government property, he wished to say that the Returns he had moved for and obtained wore sent to all the boroughs in England, and he believed in Ireland as well, and no complaint had been made at all in regard to the assessments agreed upon. In his opinion a very great wrong had been redressed by this arrangement, though the principle of the Government being its own valuer was, of course, still open to objection.
§ MR. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
said that the statement of the right lion. Gentleman was very loose in regard to a matter of this kind. He believed, however, the discussion that night would be of very great benefit to the hon. Gentleman, because, although he was new to his office, he must understand, if he wanted to get his Votes through Committee, he must have all the details at his fingers ends. He would feel it his duty 245 to move a reduction of the Vote unless a better explanation was given.
§ MR. CALDWELL
thought that the explanation given by the Secretary to the Treasury would not hold water for a moment. Here was an increase of £2,000 in the rates and contributions in lieu of rates for Admiralty property, and of £7,000 for property of the War Department. But look at the enormous buildings of the Government—dockyards, post offices, etc.—throughout the whole of England and Ireland, and how could it be that this sum of £13,000 was simply owing to increased poundage? It was nothing of the kind. If the hon. Gentleman thought that there was not to be an increased poundage in Scotland he was mistaken. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the Scotch people were satisfied, but he could assure him that the people in that country had been complaining very much. He quite recognised that on a Supplementary Vote they could not go into the principle of a uniform system of contribution; but at the same time he was entitled to call attention to the fact that if Scotland could do without an increased contribution to the rates, so should England.
§ MR. DILLON
said that the hon. Gentleman had declared that they in Ireland were satisfied with the Government contribution to the rates. He was astonished at that in view of what had appeared in the Report of the Royal Commission on Local Taxation which had just been published. In that Report there was a most important memorandum prepared for the Commission by Mr. Charles Dawson, Collector General of Rates in Dublin, who said—Government property should be openly valued, and pay rates, not as bounty, but as duty. If it be right, as the giving of a 'bounty' allows, to pay at all, it should be done as a matter of right. The valuation of this kind of property in Dublin is quite inadequate. The Castle of Dublin, with the town palace of the Viceroy, and all its Government offices, residences, private chapels, courtyards and squares, is only valued at £3,550. All the Government buildings in Dublin, including Castle, Law Courts, Custom House, Post Office, Barracks, are only valued at £36,764. In London the Law Courts alone are valued at £56,700.Anyone who compared the Castle, Viceroy's palace, barracks, law courts, 246 custom house, post office, and other public buildings in Dublin with those in London would acknowledge that if the same principle of valuation were applied in Dublin as in London, the valuation of the former would be at least £120,000 instead of £36,700. He supposed an opportunity would arise of discussing ere long the Report of the Commission which had been hatching its eggs for the last six or seven years.
*SIR WALTER FOSTER
said he quite understood the difficulty of making up the amount of poundage eighteen months beforehand, but he could hardly understand why an additional £10,000 was required for England, and only £3,000 for Ireland, and nothing for Scotland. Some further explanation was surely required.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that in making the original Estimates for the year allowance was made for any increase in the buildings, for the occupation of additional property, and also for increased valuation that was thought likely to arise on existing property. But a sufficient sum had not been allowed for a rise in the poundage rates, which of course affected the contributions the Government made. Hon Members would see that the increases were not likely to be the same, but would differ with each rating authority. He understood that, on the whole, the valuations had given satisfaction. He believed the Dublin valuation was an old one, but a proposal had been made for a new one.
§ *MR. O'DOHERTY
said that the Government property in Ireland, and he took it that it was the same in England, was valued not as the property of private individuals at its net annual value, but at half the net annual rent. They had, in the city of Londonderry, protested against that system over and over again. He wished for some explanation of why the allowance for rates on Government property had been increased in Ireland since local government had been instituted there. Such was not his experience, and he felt that this Vote was a libel upon the County Borough Councils and County Councils in Ireland. Why had this slur been placed on the local bodies in Ireland by the Government?
§ MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
said he wanted some further explanation in regard to the increase of £7,000 as a contribution in lieu of rates on War Department property in England. Then an increase of £3,000 was asked for Ireland; but there had been no general increase of rates in Ireland to justify their asking for such a large sum. On the contrary, since the new rating bodies had been elected by the people there had been all round a reduction of rates, He thought Dublin had been treated in a very unfair manner in regard to the rating of Government buildings. In London a grant of £10,000 was given to the fire brigade in lieu of a contribution to the rates, but no grant was given to the fire brigade in Dublin.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said that the hon. Gentleman had declared that the increase was due to the increase of poundage, but it was obvious that that was not the case, because, had it been due to increase of poundage, it would have applied equally all over the country. It was absurd to come forward in Committee and make a general assertion without giving them any particulars whatsoever.
§ MR. FIELD
said he understood the hon. Gentleman to say that the people in Ireland were satisfied with the valuation of the public buildings there. He was not satisfied [laughter]; and all the people he had consulted declared that all the Government buildings in Ireland were entirely underrated. The valuation in England was made by the local authorities, whereas in Ireland it was fixed by Government officials.
said that that was a Question of principle, which did not arise on the Supplementary Estimates.
§ MR. FIELD
said that hon. Gentlemen who laughed at a subject like taxation would be a good deal more serious if the money came out of their own pockets. This was a serious matter, and, as a protest against the absence of details in respect, to the amount of the grant allocated to Ireland, he moved the reduction of the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £12,900, be granted for the said Service."— (Mr. Field.)
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
If the hon. Gentleman wants to reduce the amount available for distribution in Ireland in lieu of rates, the Government, I am sure, have no objection, and I accept the Amendment.
The hon. Gentleman will remember that I asked him did he intend his Amendment to apply to the amount for Ireland, and be said, "Yes."
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS BEACH, (Bristol, W.)
I would point out to hon. Members that this Vote is not proposed for the advantage of the Treasury. The Treasury would be glad if none of this money went to the ratepayers either in England or Ireland; and it comes to this, that if hon. Members do not desire the Vote we will withdraw it.
*SIR WALTER FOSTER
thought the Committee were unanimous in their desire to pass the Vote, At the same time it was hoped that some further information would be given upon the subject.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 3. £7,000 (Supplementary), Railways, Ireland.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that this Vote, upon the face of it, was a brilliant example of the Supplementary Estimate, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer was prepared to withdraw the 249 whole of this Vote, as he had professed himself willing to do with the Vote last before the Committee, a very good case might be made out for his so doing. Although it might be perfectly right to bring it in as an ordinary, there was no doubt it was wrong to bring this in as a Supplementary Estimate. It appeared to be an "amount required to meet the additional claims which, in consequence of the earlier discharge under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, of the local liability to the several railway-companies, will mature in the year." This was a liability which arose under an Act which received the Royal Assent on the 12th of August. 1898. The original Estimates were prepared in November, 1899—fifteen months after the Act was passed—when every liability which was likely to arise out of the Act was perfectly well forseeable. Why was it not foreseen? How was it that in November, 1899, the Government were unable to foresee a liability which was likely to arise out of an Act passed fifteen months previously? This system of Supplementary Estimates undoubtedly put the finances of the country upon a false basis.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said it was, of course, foreseen that these sums would have to be paid. They were, as a matter of fact, repayments in respect of a guarantee given by the Government to the Local Government of Ireland. Under the new Local Government Act the county councils of Ireland had accelerated the work, and as soon as the payments had been made and vouched the Government were obliged to repay them.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
said, assuming the hon. Member for King's Lynn was right in the opinion he had formed, he did not think his remedy was equally so. If the hon. Gentleman disagreed with the Vote, he should move to reduce the salaries of some of his hon. friends on the Government bench, and not punish the unfortunate people of Ireland by proposing the withdrawal of the Vote.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he proposed to punish nobody. All he asked was, why was not this expenditure foreseen and provided for in the ordinary Estimates?
§ COLONEL NOLAN
explained that the county councils of Ireland had made these payments, and unless this Vote was agreed to they would be out of pocket £1,500 for three months. It was not a very large sum, and he hoped the hon. Member for King's Lynn would raise no objection.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
admitted that the Government expected some acceleration in the matter of these payments, but it could not be provided for until it was known in which cases it was likely to occur payment had not in all cases been accelerated, and it would not be fair to take the whole amount when the whole of the amounts had not become due.
§ *MR. TULLY
was of opinion that some further details ought to be given for the particular sum of £7,000 which was now exercising the attention of the Committee. There was a guarantee given for the railway in Leitrim. He asked how much was included for it.
§ *MR. TULLY
pointed out that under the Local Government Act, when the light railway rate exceeded sixpence the Government was to pay half, but what happened in Leitrim was that, instead of the ratepayers saving something, they suffered under a heavier tax last year, as this money was not put to the credit of the county in due time. So far as Leitrim was concerned, the Estimate was not justified, because in the first instance they had not received the amount to which they were entitled. He had no faith in the figures of Supplementary Estimates. There was, he thought, always something behind them which would not bear investigation.
§ *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
said the Vote was to give back from Government what the county councils had already advanced.