§ Mr. GIBSON BOWLES
asked whether the Treasury is empowered by the Appropriation Act, 1909, to borrow £70,9991,102, either on Treasury Bills repayable not later than 31st March, 1910, or otherwise than on Treasury Bills at an interest not exceeding 5 per cent., the repayment to be not later than in the next succeeding quarter to the borrowing; to what extent has this power been exercised; have the Treasury exhausted their power under this Act of borrowing during the present quarter, otherwise than on Treasury Bills, sums to be repaid in the quarter ending 30th June, 1910; or is it held that, inasmuch as the borrowing is made on the credit of the total sum granted, and that this sum has not been effectually provided by Ways and Means, the authority to borrow thereon lapses; and, if it is so held, is it held to be the case not only in respect of Treasury Bills, but also in respect of borrowing otherwise effected?
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The amount of borrowing authorised by the Appropriation Act, 1909, is £76,991,102. The conditions of borrowing are as described in the question. There is also power to borrow £48,670,405 4s. 10d., subject to similar conditions, under the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Act, 1909, of which £48,475,000 is in respect of Supply Grants for the current financial year, making the aggregate borrowing powers on the credit of such grants £125,466,102. These powers have already been exercised to an aggregate amount of £34,300,000, and there is an unexhausted balance of £91,166,102, which might still be raised either upon Treasury Bills repayable not later than 31st inst. or by other loans as provided in the Acts, repayable not later than 30th June, or partly by the one means and partly by the other. In neither case would these powers be affected by the fact that Parliament has not up to the present provided for the raising of the revenue necessary to repay the amounts to be borrowed; but as the amounts borrowed have under the Acts to be repaid out of the growing produce of the Consolidated Fund within the prescribed periods, the deficiency in that produce makes it necessary to extend the period for repayment. The Treasury have, it is true, under the existing Acts, power to borrow the whole amount required, otherwise than by Treasury Bills, on terms of repayment not later than 30th June, but the amount in question is too large to be raised conveniently by the alternative methods.