§ SIR EDGAR VINCENT (Exeter)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can state the aggregate gross capital liabilities of the State on the 31st March, 1903, and the estimated corresponding figure for the 3Ist March, 1904.
§ * THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. RITCHIE, Croydon)
The dead-weight debt will, it is anticipated, be reduced from £770,779,000 on 31st March last, to £760,619,000 on 31st March next. This is without reckoning anything for the first instalment of the Transvaal war contribution of £10,000,000. The liability on capital accounts for works will be increased from £27,570,000 to £35,870,000, but against these accounts there are assets held, and an automatic sinking fund is borne on the Votes which is, of course, in addition to the sinking fund, included in the annual fixed Debt Charge.