HC Deb 10 August 1904 vol 140 c17
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the last Report of the Public Accounts Committee, in which it is stated that officers were appointed to the 4th Division of the Second Army Corps in October, 1902, although their predecessors did not complete their period of command till the 31st January, 1903, so that there was a double issue of pay and allowances between those dates; and that, when the Treasury refused to sanction this arrangement as contrary to the Pay Warrant, the then Secretary of State for War announced his intention of charging the staff pay of these officers against the moneys placed at his disposal for expenditure not covered by regulation; and whether, having regard to the opinion of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, concurred in by the Committee, as to the character of this payment, steps can be taken to prevent similar use of public funds in the future.

(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) This matter has been fully considered by the Public Accounts Committee. The circumstances were, undoubtedly, of an exceptional character, but the Treasury have received an assurance from the Army Council that the small fund (£5,000 a year) placed, on the recommendation of the Dawkins Committee, at the discretionary disposal of the Secretary of State, will not, in future, be used to pay any charge to which the Treasury have refused assent.