62. Captain REES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Secretary of State for War has incurred expenditure for scarlet 1450 uniforms for which he has not received Parliamentary sanction; whether, in the event of that expenditure not receiving the ratification of Parliament, the Secretary of State for War will be personally surcharged with it; and, if not, out of what funds will the debt be discharged?
The Secretary of State acted upon a decision of the Cabinet for which the Government as a whole is responsible.
Are we to understand that the Treasury has ceased to have any control over public expenditure?
No, Sir; the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the First Lord of the Treasury are still Members of the Cabinet.
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
Are we to understand that the Cabinet has incurred this expenditure before coming to the House?
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
Are we to understand that a new practice has arisen, of the Cabinet sanctioning new works contrary to the custom that they shall be sanctioned by this House in Committee of Supply?
No new practice has arisen, as my hon. and gallant Friend has been long enough a Member of this House to know.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Is this the actual position of affairs, that the necessary sum to cover this is included in the Estimates which have been submitted to the House?
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
And, therefore, the whole matter is still subject to the complete jurisdiction of the Committee on the Estimates?
May I ask for a reply to the last part of the question, namely, as to whether, in case the expenditure is not ratified by this House, there are any funds out of which the debt will be met?
If any proposal or action sanctioned by the Cabinet fails to meet with the approval of the House, the question, obviously, will be one for the successors of the present Government.