HC Deb 26 November 1917 vol 99 cc1800-1

Considered in Committee.

[Sir DONALD MACLEAN in the Chair.)

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys to be provided by Parliament of such additional sums as may be required for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the Acts relating to National Health Insurance."—[Sir E. Cornwall.]


I am rather surprised at the way in which this Resolution has been brought before the Committee. I am astonished that the Minister who is responsible for this proposal has not made some proper financial statement. We have no information given to us as to the amount of public money which is likely to be expended as a consequence of it and of the measure which is going to be founded upon it. May I remind the Government of a fact of which they seem to be singularly oblivious, that we are now engaged in a very serious war. I have nothing to say about other forms of expenditure at this moment, but we are expending the most colossal sums. The public finances of this country are steadily becoming more and more embarrassed—

It being Eleven of the clock—

Sir E.CORNWALL (Comptroller of the Household)

I would appeal to the hon. Member to allow this to go through. This matter was dealt with on Friday, and the Government and the Treasury have agreed to make this Grant. May I appeal to my hon. Friend to allow this to go through, so that we can have the Committee stage?


I am very sorry, but I must tell my hon. Friend that I intend to oppose everything that imposes a charge upon the Exchequer.

The Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow—.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.