HC Deb 19 April 1932 vol 264 cc1411-52

3.30 p.m.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

Among the many strange events which have characterised the financial year which has just closed, we must record the occurrence of two Budgets, a feature which I do not say is unprecedented, but for which I have not been able to find a comparable parallel in peace-time during the last 100 years. I need not now recall the events which necessitated the second or emergency Budget, but the Committee will recollect that last September my Noble Friend the Lord Privy Seal found himself face to face with a prospective deficit of no less than £74,000,000. To make good that deficiency and to balance the national account demanded the highest courage and determination on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, at the same time, a supreme confidence in the readiness of the people to undertake whatever burdens and sacrifices might be laid upon them in order to support the national credit. My Noble Friend was fully equal to the occasion. Although, to use his own words, his task was one of the most disagreeable that had ever fallen to his lot, he produced a scheme which was universally acclaimed, both at home and abroad, as a model of severe but sound and salutary finance. By a combination of economies and new taxation, he was able to provide for a reduction of Debt of £32,500,000, and for a surplus of £1,500,000. To-day, we have the satisfaction of recording that not only have my Noble Friend's anticipations been fulfilled, but that the small surplus of £364,000 which we actually show must be taken in addition to the fact that, instead of the £23,000,000 which it was proposed to take last April from the Dollar Exchange Fund, it was only necessary to take £12,750,000. If, therefore, we add to the £364,000 the £10,250,000 which is the difference between those two figures, we see that we are really to-day £9,000,000 better off than my Noble Friend anticipated last year.

  1. REVIEW OF PAST YEAR. 1,839 words
  2. cc1416-8
  3. NATIONAL DEBT. 677 words
  4. cc1418-9
  5. ESTIMATES FOR 1932–33. 454 words
  6. cc1419-20
  7. EXPENDITURE. 318 words
  8. cc1420-3
  9. REVENUE. 1,051 words
  10. cc1423-5
  11. IMPORT DUTIES. 752 words
  12. cc1425-9
  14. cc1429-31
  15. MINOR MATTERS. 1,030 words
  16. cc1431-8
  17. CHANGES IN TAXATION. 2,530 words
  18. cc1438-9
  19. BALANCE SHEET. 494 words
    1. cc1439-45
    2. 1. TEA. 2,247 words
    3. cc1445-7
    4. SUGAR. 838 words
    5. cc1447-8
    6. SUGAR (DRAWBACKs). 770 words
    7. cc1448-9
    8. SILK. 105 words
    9. cc1449-50
    10. AMENDMENTS OF IMPORT DIMES ACT, 1932. 525 words
    11. c1450
    12. BICYCLES (EXCISE DUTY). 162 words
    13. c1450
    14. INCOME TAX. 124 words
    15. cc1450-1
    16. HIGHER RATES OF INCOME TAX FOR 1931–32. 106 words
    17. c1451
    19. c1452
    20. STAMP DUTY. 72 words
    21. c1452
    22. AMENDMENT OF LAW. 96 words
    23. c1452
    24. ADJOURNMENT. 16 words