HL Deb 05 December 1867 vol 190 cc598-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


I shall now state very shortly to your Lordships the course which we propose, and which we believe will provide for a very considerable part of the expenditure entailed by the military expedition to Abyssinia. We hope, undoubtedly, that this may not be protracted beyond the month of March next; in which case, according to the best calculations that we have been able to make, the utmost amount which will be required from Parliament will be a sum of about £3,500,000. We do not propose to throw any portion of this sum as a burden upon future years, but to provide, in the first instance, £2,000,000 of the money; and the Resolution by which it was proposed, towards the accomplishment of that object, to make an addition of one penny to the Income Tax was adopted without a dissentient voice in the House of Commons. A penny in the pound of Income Tax is estimated to produce about £1,450,000; but of that not more than £840,000 would come in during the present half year, leaving £610,000 applicable to the service in the next half year. There remains, therefore, a sum of £1,160,000 to be provided for. In the Financial Statement for the present year a surplus of £200,000 was shown, and deducting this from the £1,160,000, a balance of £960,000 remains, which we propose to attain by withdrawing that amount from the balances in the Bank. As these are now unusually high, that course can be adopted without inconvenience. The course which the Government propose in this respect has received the unanimous assent of the House of Commons. I trust, therefore, your Lordships will allow the Bill to be read a second time.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Derby.)


expressed a hope that the advances from the Indian revenue on foot of the present expedition would be promptly repaid, as there had been instances formerly where the payment was by no means rapid.


said, the noble Earl was perfectly right. On one occasion, he believed, they were not repaid for sixteen years. In the present instance, however, arrangements had been made with the Indian Government which, he hoped, would obviate any similar delays.

Motion agreed, to: Bill read 2a accordingly; Committee negatived, and Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.