HC Deb 11 March 1904 vol 131 cc849-50
MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India what is the excess amount, up to date, drawn for Home Charges from India by Council Bills and Transfers, above the £17,619,300 as entered under that head in the Indian Government's Budget last March, and in what way is that excess being utilised or applied here, and will these excess drawings be treated in the Indian Budget, now nearly duo, by way of deductions from the Home Charges Remittances in the ensuing year.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Brodrick.) The sales of Council Bills and Transfers in 1903–4 have so far realised £22,600,000. Owing to the excess of this amount over the Budget Estimate it has been found possible (1) to invest in this country on behalf of the Cold Reserve Fund £2,200,000 more than the amount remitted from India in gold for that purpose; (2) to avoid a considerable portion of the borrowing in England by the Secretary of State in Council and on his guarantee which was contemplated when the Budget was prepared; (3) to increase the cash balances of the India Office. The amount of the drawings in each year is regulated mainly by the requirements of trade; and there is no intention of hampering trade by restricting the drawings in 1904–5 to any particular figure on account of the large remittances of 1903–4, but the possibility of a reduced trade demand in 1904–5 is being borne in mind in connection with the preparation of the coming Budget.