HC Deb 06 December 1920 vol 135 cc1721-2
40. Mr. HIGHAM

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government will consider the advisability of introducing two budgets, one for national expenditure and one for capital account, particularly in view of the fact that the taxpayer is desirous of knowing what part of the taxes with which he is assessed is used for expenditure, and what part is credited to capital account in the reduction of the War debt?


The provision made for the reduction of debt is already clearly shown in the existing financial statements. It is, however, the case that these statements, which are prepared so as to follow the system of finance contemplated by the Exchequer and Audit Act, do not always distinguish between capital and recurring expenditure in ordinary times, and are still less adapted to show clearly in the conditions of the present day what part of the year's expenditure is due to current obligations within the present control of Parliament and the Government, and what part is directly due to charges of the same nature as those represented by the War Debt. The Government are considering whether any other form of statement will assist Parliament to a clearer comprehension of the position. We had this very question before us last week at the Cabinet Committee.

58. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Prime Minister whether, following the precedent of 29th October, 1919, the Government propose to put down a resolution on economy for the Debate on Thursday?


No, Sir. The Government do not contemplate putting down any Motion.


Will the right hon. Gentleman not put down a Motion on the lines of the speech he delivered a day or two since?


On this occasion, as on many previous occasions, will the Government make the Debate a question of a vote of confidence in the Government? Will they take off the Whips, so that we may have a clear issue on the present Government's financial policy?


If the policy of the Government is challenged on a vital matter, it is, of course, a vote of confidence.