§ 17. Mr. LOUGH
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, up to the 31st March in this year, Ministerial statements as to the total cost of the War were an estimate of the sums being spent in addition to or in excess of the annual expenditure in the year immediately preceding the War; and, seeing that this is the fairest way for the nation to look at the question, will he say now what he estimates to be the daily expenditure on the War in excess of the total normal expenditure, including the Army and Navy, in the year preceding the War, omitting loans to foreign Powers and the Colonies and all expenditure on the purchase of articles, such as wheat or sugar, which will be repaid to the Government?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The statements made in this House as to the cost of the War in 1914–15 were estimates of the additional expenditure necessitated by the War over the provision on a peace footing for the same year, 1914–15. It is difficult at any intermediate period of the year to make an exact comparison, but if all loans to foreign Governments and Colonies are excluded from the calculation as well as expenditure on commodities which will be repaid, then the expenditure which has been incurred from 1st April, 1915, up to date over and above the normal peace expenditure as estimated for 1914–15 may be put, roughly, in the neighbourhood of £2,000,000 per day.