HC Deb 22 March 1923 vol 161 cc2746-7
49. Mr. W. GRAHAM

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to paragraph 12 of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General on the Civil Services Appropriation Accounts, 1921–22, just issued, in which he states that large gifts of property belonging to the people of this country have been made to the South African Government; that the War Office transferred free of charge certain lands and buildings and other property; that boats were transferred to the Indian Government; rifles, machine guns, and ammunition, valued at £588,000, to certain Crown Colonies and Protectorates, all without charge; that the Disposal and Liquidation Commission gave a rebate of 50 per cent. to the Australian Government on the sale of plant and machinery to the value of £333,120; and why these gifts of public property, belonging to this country, were made without the full knowledge and consent of Parliament?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Baldwin)

The issue involved in the paragraph referred to by the hon. Member can hardly be adequately dealt with by question and answer. It is under discussion with the Public Accounts Committee, and I think it would be best to await their Report.


Would it not be very much better to rule that no public property shall be handed away without the express consent of this House?


May I respectfully suggest—


This is not the time to make suggestions.