HC Deb 17 November 1919 vol 121 cc611-3
72. Mr. HOHLER

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions, with reference to the payment between 1st April, 1919, and 30th September, 1919, out of the Ministry of Muntions Vote, how much of the sum of £121,125.000 represents payments in liquidation of contracts running at the time of the Armistice, and supplies to other Government Departments, respectively; will he also give the particulars of the sum of £35,200,000 expended on services outside the Ministry of Munitions Votes, showing with amounts in the purchase of what goods the money has been expanded; will he refer to the figure of receipts on trading accounts, £86,292,000, and show with amounts the receipts in respect of the sale of the goods so purchased; and whether he is receiving the whole or what portion of the difference between the £35,200,000 and £86,292,000 from other Government Departments or from the public?


The reply to my hon. Friend will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the reply referred to:

Of the £121,125,000 mentioned in the question the sum of approximately £100,000,000 was expended in liquidation of contracts running at the time of the Armistice and on supplies to other Government Departments, as follows:—

Payments on contracts which have been terminated 65,000,000
Payments on War contracts continued for supply to other Government Departments; and on contracts made since the Armistice for supplies required by other Government Departments 35,000,000
Of this total the whole amount of £35,000,000, and part of the £65,000,000 estimated at approximately £12,000,000, making £47,000,000 in all, represents the value of goods supplied to other Government Departments.

The following are particulars of the receipts of £86,292,000 and the payments of £35,200,000 in Trading Accounts:—

Receipts. Payments.
£ £
Fertiliser account 823,000 586,000
Boring for oil 76,000
Wool 67,612,000 28,193,000
Kips and raw hides 5,829,000 2,657,000
Leather 4,851,000 128,000
Tanning materials 188,000 52.000
Flax and flax seed 2,030.000 l,196,000
Manilla hemp 966,000 74,000
Raw jute 2,694,000 1,638,000
Chemicals and drugs 444,000 285,000
Cotton and cotton fabric 822.000 292,000
Food containers 33,000 23,000
£86,292,000 £35.200,000
The difference cannot be clearly allocated as between Government Depart- ments and the public without considerable research, but it may be stated that wool and jute to the value of £10,000,000 have been sold to Foreign Governments; the greater part of the balance represents sales to the public. In connection, however, with the credit balance of £51,000,000 in the Trading Accounts for the six months to 30th September, 1919, it should be noted that this sum does not represent profit, since in past years the position has been:—
Expenditure in excess of receipts. Receipts in excess of expenditure.
Financial year — £ £
1916–17 30,381,000
1917–18 35,033,000
1918–19 4,000,000
65,414,000 4,000,000
Debit balance 31–3–19 61,414,000
£65,414,000 £65,414,000
It will be observed that the debit balance has not yet been recouped.