HC Deb 30 April 1906 vol 156 c287

The national expediture on Imperial account—;I exclude from both sides the intercepted sums for local taxation—;was in 1896–7 £101,477,000. For the present financial year it is £141,786,000—;an increase of 39 per cent. Of this increase of £40,300,000 as much as £21,000,000 is to be put down to the Army and the Navy. In 1896–7 the numbers voted for the Army wore 156,000, and the cost was £18,270,000. In 1906–7 the numbers voted are 204,000 and the cost is £29,796,000—;an increase in numbers of over 30 per cent, and in cost of over 63 per cent. For the Navy, the numbers borne in 1896–7 were 91,500, and the cost was £22,170,000. In 1906–7 the numbers are 129,000, and the cost is £31,869,000—;an increase in numbers of 41 per cent., and in cost of 43 per cent. The Civil Service total cost had increased during the same period by over £9,000,000, of which more than two-thirds must be attributed to education. The aggregate expenditure on Glass 4 (educational services) was in 1896–7 a little over £10,500,000. In 1906–7 it is estimated at nearly £17,000,000—;an increase of no less than 60 per cent. By far the largest part of the increased expenditure must be put down to the additional provision for elementary education in England and Wales, an amount which grows automatically, but by leaps and bounds, with the growth of the school population, but is constantly being added to by aid grants and other forms of subsidy, and, as the Committee well knows, is likely before long to receive another enormous contribution from the resources of the State. Due allowance is to be made, and ought always to be made, for the growth not only of population, but of the national demand for education during the same period. These figures appear to me to call for no comment. They speak with an eloquence which needs no rhetorical embroidery. In my opinion they make a return to more thrifty and economical administration the first and paramount duty of the Government.

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