HC Deb 19 April 1955 vol 540 cc42-3

Now for expenditure. While revenue exceeded expectations, expenditure fell short of them. Consolidated Fund Services amounted to £665 million, or £2 million less than the Budget estimate. Supply services cost £3,640 million, or £216 million less than my forecast. This shortfall was shared by both defence and civil supply. The estimate for defence was £1,555 million; actual expenditure was £1,436 million, a shortfall of £119 million, in spite of the fact that appropriations-in-aid from the sterling counterpart of economic aid and other receipts from the United States amounted to £61 million, or £24 million less than my original estimate. The reasons for the shortfall in expenditure on defence have already been described broadly in the Defence White Paper and during our debates on it.

Now for civil expenditure. This, at £2,204 million, was £97 million less than my estimate, in spite of Supplementary Estimates during the year amounting to £42 million. The savings here are spread over a large number of items, but are shared mainly by the Ministries of Food, Materials and Supply. In total, expenditure under all heads amounted to £4,305 million, a saving of £218 million.