§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL
On behalf of the hon. Member for Exeter I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the estimated amount to be devoted to the Sinking Fund in the financial year 1903–4, and the aggregate amount of money to be spent on capital account 1314 during the same year and not included in the annual Budget.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
The portion of the fixed debt charge of £27,000,000 applicable to Sinking Fund purposes in 1903–4 is, according to the latest calculations, £6,640,000, and it will be devoted to the extinction of what is termed dead-weight debt. The amount to be spent on capital account, which is in part required for reproductive purposes, and against which assets are held, is estimated during the same year at £9,300,000; but whatever sum is required and borrowed for these purposes is raised on terminable annuities, which automatically provide a special Sinking Fund borne on the Votes and thus ensure repayment within a limited period. The Sinking Fund contained in the terminable annuities in respect of capital advances already made amounts to £1,007,000.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
In order to clear up this matter, may I ask am I right in assuming that when the right hon. Gentleman mentions the Sinking Fund he does not include what is known as the old Sinking Fund? Am I also right in saying, with respect to the new Sinking Fund, it is not £6,640,000, but £1,500,000 or thereabouts?
§ MR. RITCHIE
In reply to the first Question, the old Sinking Fund is not included. As to the second Question, I think the new Sinking Fund is between £1,500,000 and £1,600,000. That is included in the £6,640,000.