HC Deb 02 March 1905 vol 142 cc172-4
MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India if he will state the chief causes of the Indian Government's increased expenditure, during the first eight months of the financial year, under the head of Military Services, of 100 lakhs in excess of the Budget Estimates; have there been any recent savings under that head, or is that excess likely to be increased during the remaining portion of the year ending with next month; to what unforeseen circumstances is attributable the excess in those eight months under the head of Civil Debts; to what amount, beyond the Budget Estimate of £18,435,500 for the Home Charges, have the Secretary of State's drawings, on India reached at the present date, and to what purposes are these excess drawings being applied; and what is the present amount of the Indian Government's cash balances in this country and in India.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Brodrick.) I gather that the hon. Member's Question is based on the account published in the Gazette of India of January 28th, but the excess of 100 lakhs (approximately) shown in this account in the military expenditure in the first eight months of 1904–5 is an excess over the expenditure for the corresponding period of 1903–4, not over the Budget Estimate for 1904–5. A comparison between the estimated and actual military expenditure in 1904–5 will be given, as usual, with explanations in the Financial Statement of the Government of India, which will be made in the course of the present month. I anticipate that the expenditure on Army Services in 1904–5 will exceed the Budget Estimate by more than 100 lakhs, the excess being chiefly due to the greater cost of the Tibet Mission and to outlay which it has been decided to incur in connection with the reorganisation and improvement of the Indian Army. The account to which I have referred shows an increase of 100 lakhs in 1904–5 in permanent debt incurred in India; this increase is over 1903–4, and is explained by the fact that a rupee loan of three crores was issued in 1904–5, whereas the loan of 1903–4 was for only two crores. The drawings on India amounted to £21,150,000 on February 28th. The excess over the amount required to meet the Home Charges (i.e., the payments in this country charged against revenue) is devoted to defraying capital expenditure on railways and irrigation works and to replenishing the balances of the Secretary of State in Council. The balances of the

Name Previous Occupation. Age when appointed. Date of Appointment.
Byrne, J. P. Constabulary Officer for 20 years 43 years 1st May, 1903
White, J. T. Barrister-at-Law 34 years 1st May,1903
Gosselin, B. Captain, Royal Artillery 32 years 1st May,1903
Wynne, E. M. P. Constabulary Officer for 20 years 44 years 1st May,1903
Johnstone, W. E. In Army 40 years 16th January, 1904
Two of these gentlemen are Catholics and three Protestants.

Government of India on January 31st, 1905, amounted to £8,360,000, and those of the Secretary of State in Council on February 28th to £10,484,000.