§ 61. Mr. McKENNA
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the estimated rate of the total daily national expenditure at the present time; the total estimated amount of the national indebtedness at the close of the present financial year; and the total estimated amount at the same date of the debt which will be due to this country from the Allies and Dominions in respect of advances made during the War?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
As the expenditure fluctuates greatly from week to week, any estimate of the average over a limited period is, as my right hon. Friend knows, misleading.
The total payments for all services (war and peace) between 11th February and 31st March inclusive will, it is estimated, average £7,260,000 a day, but in this period heavy special payments have fallen due which have increased the average expenditure by over £1,000,000 a day. The total expenditure for the whole year from 1st April, 1916, to 31st March next, will work out at an average of approximately £6,000,000 a day.
The nominal total of the National Debt at the close of the present financial year is at present estimated in round figures at £3,900,000,000. The total estimated amount at the same date of the debt which will be due to this country from the Allies and Dominions in respect of advances made during the War is approximately £964,000,000.
With regard to the last item, I may perhaps explain that the figures given in the 1553 statements relating to the Vote of Credit have shown the net cash advanced to the Dominions and Allies.
To arrive at the capital indebtedness of the Dominions and Allies (i.e., the figure I have just given) it is necessary to add to the cash advanced the interest or discount chargeable.
§ Mr. BILLING
Are we to understand that advances to our Allies are made out of the £6,000,000 a day?