§ MR. SEARS (Cheltenham)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his attention has been drawn to the work done in estate duty offices in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as represented by the revenue received per head of the staff employed; is he aware that in England the average annual amount of revenue dealt with 694 per head during the five years ending 1000–1 was £74,859; that, owing to the increase in the staff during the next five years the average per head dropped to £50,111, and to £40,436 for the year 1905–6; that the corresponding figures per head of staff in Scotland are £77,066, £70,083, and £66,210, and for Ireland £36,229, £29,312, and £25,433; will he give the reason for the difference in the amount of revenue dealt with per head in England and Ireland as compared with Scotland; and will he take these figures into his consideration, and not only prevent further increase in the staff, but adjust the staff to the requirements of the service.
§ MR. ASQUITH
The figures quoted by the hon. Member are correct. A reply to a Question does not provide a suitable opportunity for dealing in detail with the causes of the higher apparent cost in proportion to the amount of revenue collected in England and Ireland as compared with Scotland, or the conclusions to be drawn from it,—matters which can only be adequately discussed in Committee of Supply.