HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1938-9
Mr. Churchill

May I, at the request of the Prime Minister, ask him whether any change has been made in the charge on the Consolidated Fund for the Civil List since the commencement of this reign?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The charge on the Consolidated Fund fixed by the Civil List Act of 1937 has remained unchanged, but the increase in the cost of wages, goods and services provided from the Civil List has resulted in deficits in recent years, causing heavy demands upon His Majesty's Privy Purse, which have been met by His Majesty from savings accumulated during the war. These savings are now exhausted and His Majesty's Government have decided as from 1st April, 1951, to relieve the Civil List of the cost of certain services.

These are the salaries of the Yeomen of the Guard and Gentlemen at Arms, and certain expenditure on fuel and light, which will be borne by Votes accounted for by the Ministry of Works, together with the cost of telephone and telegrams, which will be provided by the Post Office free of charge. The relief to the Civil List by these transfers is estimated to be about £40,000 a year.

Recognising the present financial situation of the country, His Majesty has expressed the wish to participate in meeting the deficit in the Civil List by making such personal economies as will provide an annual contribution of £20,000 from the Privy Purse. His Majesty has agreed that any savings resulting from this arrangement should be regarded as a reserve to be held against any deficits in future years.

Mr. Churchill

May I assure the Prime Minister that in this matter he will receive the support of the Conservative Party?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is this not a case for National Assistance?

Earl Winterton

Very insulting, and not the least funny.