§ Mr. D. ADAMS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having regard to the need for national economy, if he will arrange that unspent moneys in each separate Vote for the Navy, Army, and Air Force shall be returned to the Exchequer, and that the practice of diverting money to other Votes shall cease?
I understand the hon. Member to be suggesting a change in the well-established system under which the Treasury under powers granted by the Appropriation Act may, in suitable cases, authorise transfers from one of the several Votes of any one of the Departments referred to to another Vote of the same Department, each such1460W transfer being subsequently validated by Act of Parliament. In the absence of such a system, it would be almost unavoidable that the Departments concerned should in the first instance, in view of the great difficulty of anticipating the exact cost of the services for which they are responsible, ask authority for estimated sums which might prove excessive.