§ The CHANCLLOR of the EXCEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
I now come to last year's expenditure. The national expenditure of 1926 exceeded the Budget Estimate by £22,000,000, of which £15,400,000 is upon Consolidated Fund Services—almost entirely Debt interest£and £6,400,000 falls upon what is called Supply. Of the £22,000,000 of excess expenditure £14,500,000 is, as I have stated, due to the Coal Stoppage. Consolidated Fund Services, apart from the Strike, exceeded the Estimate by about £6,000,000. On the other hand, the Budget Estimates for Supply—the expenses of all the Departments—not only last year, but the year before, proved almost exactly correct, that is leaving out of account the Coal Subsidy in 1925 and the effects of the Coal Stoppage in 1926. The Revenue and Expenditure of 1926, taken together on the basis of a £60,000,000 Sinking Fund, which we provided for last year, show that, instead of a surplus of over £4,000,000, there is the deficit which has been published of £36,500,000. This £36,500,000 represents roughly the cumulative short-fall during the whole Parliament from the statutory £50.000,000 Sinking Fund. I see it stated by many well-informed writers that there is a short-fall of £50,000,000, but it is actually nearer £36,000,000, because £4,000,000 was provided from the surplus of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and I carried forward £10,000,000, in order to justify an increase of the Sinking Fund to £60,000,000 last year. £36,500,000 deficit! So much for the past.