§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the issues from the Consolidated Fund for Supply Services are governed by the provisions of The Exchequer and Audit Departments Act, 1866, or whether the provisions of any later Act apply; whether the money granted by a Consolidated Fund Act to meet the expenditure authorised by Resolutions in Supply for Civil Services can, under any circumstances, be used for Army or Navy Services; whether the money granted by Consolidated Fund Act, No. 1, of this session for Naval Services is available to meet the expenditure authorised by Resolutions in Supply for Naval Services since the passing of that Act, and is the only money so available; and how much of the money so granted remains unissued up to the present time.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. Austen Chamberlain, Worcestershire, E.)
The issues for Supply Services are made in accordance with the provisions of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act, 1866, and of Section 2 (1) of the Public Accounts and Charges Act, 1891. The money granted by a Consolidated Fund Act is not allocated to any particular head of Supply Services, unless the Act be also an Appropriation Act. The Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Act of the present session authorised the issue of the sum of £39,571,200, to be applied "towards making good the Supply granted to His Majesty for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905." The Act does not allocate the money between the various Supply Services, and it will not be so allocated until the Appropriation Act is passed. The unissued balance under the Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Act is £15,521,500, and that balance can be made available for any Votes which the House has granted, either before or since the passing of the Act, for Army, Navy, or Civil Services.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
The right hon. Gentleman has quoted the Public Accounts and Charges Act. Is he aware that under that Act issues are restricted to making good the Supply that was 20 granted at the time of the last issue? Is that consistent with his present Answer?
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
May I give notice that I propose to call attention to this matter on Report of Supply, when perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will take the opportunity to explain more fully the exact consequences of the present position.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I think I have given all the information that is in my power subject to the point raised by the hon. Member for Lynn Regis.