HC Deb 08 August 1919 vol 119 cc751-2

Resolution reported, That it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of a sum not exceeding three million five hundred thousand pounds into a Forestry Fund, constituted under any Act of the present Session for establishing a Forestry Commission for the United Kingdom, and promoting afforestation, and the production and supply of timber therein.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."


There is one question. I should like to put, and that is whether the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will lay Papers giving the expenditure under the Act apart from its inclusion in the Consolidated Fund Bill? The point was raised as to how we are to discuss this in future in the House, whether only on the Consolidated Fund Bill or whether on a separate estimate of the cost to be submitted to Parliament from year to year. I do not think there would be any difficulty in the Financial Secretary to the Treasury doing what I suggest, and I think, when we are setting aside a sum of over £3,000,000 for this particular purpose, we ought to have an assurance that an estimate of the annual expenditure will be submitted to the House from year to year.


The question as to the presentation of a separate estimate annually for the Forestry Commissioners will be raised by an Amendment which I have put down on the Bill. The intention is that there shall be annual Estimates, precisely the same as the ordinary Votes put before Parliament. As to the further question, whether there is only going to be an opportunity on the Consolidated Fund Bill to discuss this or on the annual Votes in the ordinary way, I can assure my hon. Friend that the latter is the intention of the Government.

Question put, and agreed to.