HC Deb 01 August 1906 vol 162 cc1039-40

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will grant, as an unopposed Return, a statement of the Intercepted Public Revenue for the years 1904–5, 1905–6, 1906–7, in continuation of Parliamentary Paper, No. 223, of 1905; whether he will grant in the same way a continuation of Return No. 243, of 1905 (Gross Departmental Expenditure), for the years 1895–6, 1905–6, and 1906–7; and, if not, upon what grounds it is considered necessary now for the first time to withhold this information from the House.

(Answered by Mr. M'Kenna.) A Return of Public Revenue (Interception) will be given for the three years in question, if the hon. Member will move for it. The Return of Gross Departmental Expenditure has only once been furnished, namely, in 1905, when it was allowed experimentally. It is merely a recasting of the figures of expenditure, as ordinarily published, under a different classification. Such variations tend to confusion, and are to be deprecated unless they serve some really useful purpose. I do not think there is such justification in this instance, and I regret, therefore, that I do not see my way to incur the trouble and expense which its publication would entail.