HC Deb 18 April 1907 vol 172 c1185

Now I turn to the current year. In the current year the fixed provision for reducing the Debt automatically is £28,000,000, being £500,000 less than last year. We have made during last year the last two payments on account of Chancery funds annuity, amounting to £1,162,000 in all. The result is that, out of the fixed Debt charge there will be applicable to the reduction of Debt during the year £9,383,000, in addition to the realised surplus of last year, £5,399,000. The two together make up £14,782,000; and, if I add miscellaneous receipts to the reduction of Debt—including the China indemnity of £318,000—estimated to amount in all to £600,000, the total sum available should be not less than £15,382,000. The issues on account of capital liabilities, happily, as I have said, growing less year by year, are estimated as likely to be £3,850,000, of which £2,855,000 is authorised by existing Acts, and the balance under the Telegraph Bill to be introduced this Session. On the other hand, there is provided, on the Votes for the repayment of principal of this class of liabilities, a sum of £2,030,000; so that the maximum addition for the year cannot exceed £1,970,000. Therefore, the estimated sum available during the current year for the diminution of the gross liabilities of the State is £13,400,000. Sir, if I may take the two years together, I should like the Committee to keep the figures in their mind. First of all, I will take the deadweight Debt. If you take the actual reduction in 1906–7 and the sums which are applicable or will be applicable to the reduction of the Debt in 1907–8, they make a total for the two years of £29,096,000. On the other hand, if you take the gross liabilities of the nation, the actual reduction in 1906–7 and the sum which is applicable or will be applicable to reduction in 1907–8, make a total reduction on the whole of the capital liabilities of the nation for the two yews of no less than £23,225,000.