Expenditure, 1919–20.

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance. – in the House of Commons on 29th October 1919.

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With these preliminary observations, I turn to the expenditure of the current year. The Budget deficit has been increased, as shown in the White Paper, by £223,500,000 to a total of £473,500,000. This, as the White Paper shows, is largely due to the deferment of receipts. Whatever credit is obtained by these deferred receipts will go into next year's Estimates. At this point I wish to utter a word of caution. In the White Paper the figure is given at which the cost of the Army of Occupation was expected to stand when the Budget statement was made. We have been able to reduce the Army of Occupation much below what was then contemplated: £70,000,000 is the cost of an Army of the size that was then thought likely to be necessary, and that sum was therefore taken as an Appropriation-in-Aid this year. I do not now say that £70,000,000 will come into next year, because, the Army being reduced, the cost is reduced, and our claims are in reference not to an imaginary army, but to an army actually engaged in the occupation of Germany. Similarly, the figure for the trading assets of the various Food Controls does not necessarily remain unchanged from year to year, and very likely may not be as much next year as it was at the beginning of this year.