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estimates. . A . . . J

4. .hducation, science, and art ; o. Colonial, consular,
and other foreign services ; 6. Superannuation and re-
tired allowances, and gratuities for charitable and other
purposes ; 7. Miscellaneous, special, and temporary
objects. Then follows, as a separate class, estimates
for the revenue departments, Post-office packet and
telegraph service. And a general index to the entire
estimates is appended.

It is worthy of remark that the English estimates, as a general
rule, contain but few grants in aid of private charities or local
benevolent institutions. It is considered that the practical result of
governmental aid to such institutions would be to dry up the
sources of private benevolence, upon which local charities must
chiefly depend, and to weaken the motives for their economical
management, thereby seriously injuring instead of promoting their
welfare. 8

The lords of the Treasury are of opinion that here-
after it will be more convenient, not only as a means of
facilitating discussion on the estimates in the House of
Commons, but also in the subsequent preparation and
audit of the appropriation accounts of the expenditure
incurred, that the services conducted under the respon-
sibility of distinct departments of the government should,
as far as possible, be grouped together in a distinct
series of votes. This opinion was concurred in by the
Committee of Public Accounts, 4 and has since been car-

r For account of misc. civ. serv. 35. Com. Pap. 1847-8, v. 18. Hans,

estimates, their classification, gradual D. v. 166, p. 1663. Petoon Taxation,

increase and revision, with view to p. 363.

reduction, see Peto on Taxation, p. * Treas. Minute, June 22, 1866.

310. Rpts. of Com e . on Misc. Exp. Com. Pap. 1866, v. 39, p. 143, &c.

in 1847-8; and Public Accts. in 1861 Rep. Com. Pub. Accts. 1866, v. 7,

and 1862. Mr. Gladstone, Hans. D. pp. 557, 564. Special Rep. (Exch.

v. 174, p. 538. and Audit Bill), Com. Pap. 1866, v.

Rep. Com e . Misc. Exp. pp. 27, 7, Evid. 193, 194, 207.


ried out. u The civil service estimates are now preceded
by a statement showing the services in each class for
which the several departments will be required to
account, and to each vote is appended the sub-heads
under which it will be accounted for. Moreover, pur-
suant to the Act 31 Viet. c. 9, in regard to extra re-
ceipts, votes for the precise amount required for each
department are taken, while the receipts, heretofore
applied in reduction of said amounts, are now paid into
the exchequer. This system has caused a considerable
increase in the nominal amount of the votes, but it
enables the House to exercise a greater control over the
expenditure of the various departments/

A careful and discriminative classification of votes, ciassifica-
and items of votes, in the annual estimates, materially estimates,
facilitates the classification of payments, limits the dis-
cretion of accountants, and leaves less room for differ-
ences of opinion in regard to the vote to which a
particular payment is chargeable. w It is therefore of
great importance that no pains should be spared in the
judicious preparation of the estimates.

When the estimates have been presented to the
House, they are ordered to be printed for the use of
members, and are referred to the Committee of Supply.

The sittings of the Committee of Supply then com- com-
mence. x As a general rule, no one but a minister of [^"f of
the crown is competent to move a grant of money. 7

There is one exception to this rule. By the usage of Parliament,
the estimates for the British Museum, after they have been approved
by the Treasury, are invariably introduced and moved by some
member of the governing body of that institution, irrespective of
his political opinions, the preference being given to one who is not

" Hans. D. v. 397, p. 1191. Civ. Pap. 1857. 2nd Seas. v. 9, pp. 527,

Serv. Est. 186S-9, and 1869-70. 677.

T Hans. D. v. 191, p. 1161. Civ. But in 1869 a vote on account

Serv. Est. 1869-70. Com. Pap. was taken before the presentation of

1868-9, v. 42, pp. 3, 12. the estimates, see ante, p. 740.

* Rep. Com e . Pub. Moneys, Com. ' Hans. D. v. 207, p. 1892.


E R ti. an ex-officio trustee.* This is confessedly an anomalous practice (see

mates for Lord H. Lennox's motion on the subject in the Commons on
British March 18, 1862) ; but it has the advantage of ensuring, as the re-
presentative in the House of this great national collection, one who
is familiar with its multifarious details, and able to afford minute
information concerning its actual condition and requirements. On
this account the administration have been hitherto unwilling to
change this arrangement for one more in accordance with the
principles of parliamentary government.*

The member of the administration who is charged with
the duty of representing the particular department
on behalf of which the grants are proposed, first ex-
plains to the committee whatever may be necessary to
satisfy them as to the general expediency and propriety
of the class of estimates under consideration, and then
proceeds to propose each grant in succession. When
the navy or army estimates are under the consideration
of the committee, it is customary to permit members to
animadvert upon the whole estimates, or upon naval or
military matters generally, before the first vote is taken ;
and this opportunity is usually taken by the mover, to
review the whole policy of the estimates. But, after
the first vote, the discussion is strictly confined to the
particular vote before the committee. b The civil service
estimates have hitherto been considered to be of too
miscellaneous a description to be dealt with in a general
statement ; accordingly the rule of limiting discussion
to the vote or item under consideration is adhered to

But in 1877, in deference to opinions expressed
in the House of Commons, the chancellor of the ex-
chequer undertook that the secretary of the treasury,

* Mir. of Parl. 1840, p. 4537; b Ib. v. 181, pp. 1321, 1525; v.

Hans. D. v. 155, p. 430 ; Ib. v. 167, 223, p. 656.
p. 456. Ib. v. 181, p. 1783; v. 191, p.

a Hans. D. v. 169, p. 1655; Ib. 984. And see Rep. Com 6 , on Parl.

v. 176, p. 1358; Ib. v. 184, pp. Business, Com. Pap. 1871, v. 9,

1557,1563; v. 191, p. 3Jl ; v. 219, p. 29; May, Parl. Prac. ed. 1883,

p. 1595. p. 677.



before moving these estimates, should give some general
explanations upon the progressive increase of civil ser-
vice expenditure^ This was accordingly done on April
5, 1877, on motion that the Speaker do leave the chair
to enable the House to resolve itself into Committee of
Supply. On the same occasion on July 10, the vice-
president of the Education Department proposed to make
a general statement, preliminary to the discussion of
the education votes ; but, as leading members objected
that due notice had not been given of this intention, this
course was not followed. 6

Each resolution of supply is proposed from the chair
in the following words : ' That a sum riot exceeding
/. f be granted to her Majesty ' for the object spe-
cified in the particular vote in the printed estimates.
This motion may be either agreed to or negatived, but
it is not competent for the committee to make any
alteration therein which could change the destination
of the vote, g or increase the amount proposed, 11 because
the House of Commons can only vote money pursuant
to the recommendation of the crown. In like manner,
~it is irregular to move an instruction to the Committee
of Supply, as it is only competent for the committee to
consider the estimates which have been submitted to
the consideration of the House by the crown. 1

nations on
going into
mittee of

lutions in
mittee of

d Hans. D. v. 232, p. 1040 ; v. 233,
p. 125.

e Ib. v. 235, p. 1047.

f Votes of Parliament are not
taken for fractions of a pound.

* The Speaker, Hans. D. v. 71,
p. 295. Ib. v. 169, p. 1774 ; v. 173,
p. 1282.

h Mir. of Parl. 1834, p. 615 ; Hans.
D. v. 148, p. 392. So a motion to
increase the number of men in a vote
on the army estimates, though pro-
fessedly intended merely to rectify
an error in the calculations of minis-
ters, was declared to be irregular,
Ib. v. 169, p. 1267 ; and see ante,
p. 702.


! The Speaker, Mir. of Parl. 1828,
p. 1972. But see proceedings in case
of Capt. Ross, the Arctic navigator,
to obtain for him a grant of 5,000/.
Upon his petitioning the House of
Commons, with the consent of the
crown, his petition was referred to a
select com e .,reported upon favourably,
and then, his petition having been
previously referred to the Com*, of
Supply, a vote was agreed to in supply
on motion of a private member, to
grant him the sum recommended by
the select committee. Ib. 1834, pp.
608, 797, 843, 2864. And see a
similar case in regard to a vote pro-
posed by Mr. Plume, in Horn 6 , of




tions to
mittee of

Votes in

On May 18, 1863, ministers proposed a vote in Committee of
Supply on account of the packet service, to which was appended a
proviso that no part of the same should be applied to pay
Mr. Churchward for postal services under a contract which had
been condemned by the House itself.J An amendment was offered
to omit this proviso, but it was objected to as being irregular. The
chairman, however, ruled that it was in order, inasmuch as ' it did
not enlarge or divert the vote from any purpose.' k In answer to an ob-
jection made to the proviso itself, the chancellor of the exchequer con-
tended that, because a condition of this kind might be proposed on
behalf of the crown, it did not follow that a similar proposal could
be made by an independent member. Moreover, the proposal of
the crown did not affect the service itself, and was no precedent
for any vote which might limit or alter that service. 1 The minis-
terial proposition was accordingly agreed to.

On May 31, 1867, a resolution in Committee of Supply, to grant
20,000. towards the expense of erecting a building for the use of the
University of London, was amended on division, by adding a proviso,
' That no part of such sum shall be applied to the erection of any
building according to either of the designs now exhibited. '
Ministers opposed this amendment, but after the division agreed to
act upon it. Whereupon by common consent the proviso was
struck out when the resolution was reported." 1

The votes in Committee of Supply are usually pro-
posed for large sums for particular heads of services, but
as the separate items for which the supply is required
are detailed in the estimates, the practice of. the House
(as altered in 1857) permits of a question being put
that any item objected to * be omitted from the proposed
vote,' or, ' be reduced by the sum of - /.,' as the case
may be. Where a general reduction of a particular
vote is proposed, the question is first put upon the
smallest amount proposed to be granted ; and, in like
manner, if more than one amendment be offered, con-
formably to the ancient order of the House, * That
where there comes a question between the greater and

Supply, for the purchase of 1250
copies of Marshall's Digest of Statis-
tics. Ib. 1833, p. 1513.

I See particulars of this case, post,
p. 772.

k Hans. D. v. 170, p. 1884.
1 Ib. p. 2036.

ra Ib. v. 187, pp. 1463-1469, 1547,
1661 ; v. 212, p. 699.


lesser sum, or the longer and shorter time, the least
sum and the longest time ought first to be put to
the question.' n After a motion for the reduction of a
particular item in a vote has been proposed from the
chair, it is not competent to propose a motion in rela-
tion to, or to debate, a previous item, but any question
in regard to the same may be raised upon the report of
the resolutions to the House.

Formerly when a motion had been put from the seduction
chair to omit or reduce an item in a vote, it was no of a vote>
longer competent to move for a reduction of the vote
generally. 1 " But in 1868 this practice was altered, and
a rule adopted to permit an amendment for a reduction
of the whole vote, after a decision of the committee
upon a particular item, on the ground that members
ought to be always free to adopt the more constitutional
course of moving the general reduction of a vote, leaving
it to ministers to determine in what way the retrench-
ment could be best carried into effect. But after a
question has been put for a reduction of the whole vote
no motion can be made to omit or reduce any item. q
But a motion for the reduction of a vote by a par
ticular amount, if negatived, may be followed by another
for a smaller reduction, provided only that a distinct
and separate issue is thereby submitted/

It is irregular to move in Committee of Supply for Motions
the adoption of a general resolution in regard to any in Com -

. , r . J mittee of

particular vote, 8 or to move taat a particular vote be Supply,
referred to a select committee. But a vote can be re-
duced, with the ulterior object of moving in the House
for the appointment of a select committee to enquire
into the question connected therewith.*

May. Parl. Prac. ed. 1883, p. Ib. pp. 1025-1033, 1464-1466.
671. Hans. D. v. 172, p. 1026. T Ib. v. 236, p. 592.

Ib v. 179, p. 1286. ' Mir. of Parl. 1831, p. 1826 ;

p Ib. v. 148, p. 1083 ; v. 191, pp. 1831-2, p. 3472.
1009-1013. * Hans. U. v. 172, p. 131.

3 c 2




In supply

voted only
for the

mittees of
the whole

A vote proposed in Committee of Supply may not, in
Pi nt f form, be postponed, because there is no period
to which it can be postponed. 11 But the mover may,
with the consent of the committee, withdraw it, and
submit it again on another day, with or without altera-
tion, and either as a distinct vote, or in separate items/

On June 15, 1863, Lord Palmerston moved, in Com-
mittee of Supply, for the adoption of a vote of 67,000/.
to purchase land at South Kensington. This formed
part of a general proposition for the purchase of the
International Exhibition building, the entire cost of
which had been stated in the estimates at 484, OOO/.
Of this amount, the one item of land alone had been
estimated at 172.000/. ; and objection was taken that
the government had no right, suddenly, and without
previous notice, to ask for a less sum than they had
proposed in the estimates to apply for. But it was ruled
by the chairman, and subsequently by the Speaker, that
there was nothing irregular in this proceeding^ On
June 8, 1865, the vote for temporary commissions was
taken for 30,702/., being 5, OOO/. more than was set
down in the estimates. No explanation was given as
to the reason for this alteration. x

The Committee of Supply considers the money to be
vote d for the current year. Where the proposed grant
is not part of the service of the current year as, for
instance, a permanent increase to judges' salaries it is
more regular to propose it in any other committee of
the whole House than the Committee of Supply, pro-
vided the Queen's recommendation is first signified, and

u Hans. T). v. 159, p. 549.

T Mir.ofParl. 1830, p. 1498; 1840,
p. 2867.

w Hans. D. v. 171, p. 937. Ib. v.
172, p. 74. On another occasion,
the government, without previous
notice, reduced an intended vote by
33.000Z. on account of circumstances
which had transpired since the fram-

ing of the estimates. Ib. v. 174, p.
830. Again, on May 9, 1864, the
vote for Misc. Services (Army) was
taken for 5,0001. less than the orig-
inal estimate, but the proceeding
excited no remark. Smith's Parl.
Rememb. 1864, p. 81. Hans. D. v.
218, p. 196.

* Smith, Parl. Rememb. 1865, p. 91.


on their report a Bill is ordered, or a clause inserted in
a Bill already before the House/

Under such circumstances it has been considered allowable for a Money
private member to move to increase an amount proposed by votes -
ministers on behalf of a service which had been recommended by the
crown, in general terms, ' to the liberality of Parliament,' and to
propose an extension of the grant for a longer period. 2 But if the
royal message itself indicated the particular amount recommended to
be granted, it would not be competent for a private member to pro-
pose an extension of the same. a

On June 8, 1869, an independent member moved for the
appointment of a select committee to enquire into the causes of the
great excess of cost in prosecuting the war with Abyssinia over the
estimates submitted to Parliament. The motion was seconded by
the ex-minister for India, concurred in by the government, and
agreed to without a division. 15 This committee reported the
evidence taken on July 31, with a recommendation that they should
be reappointed in the next session.

On February 18, 1870, the House of Commons reappointed this
select committee, which reported 011 July 29. The report consisted
of a bare recital of facts to show the enormous excess of expendi-
ture for the service over its estimated cost ; but inasmuch as the
highest military authorities consulted on this point agreed, ' that the
nature of the work assigned to the expedition, and the peculiar
circumstances under which we made war in Abyssinia, rendered
even an approximate estimate of the cost utterly impossible,' the
committee refrained from imputing blame to anyone concerned.
The draft reports, and evidence appended to this report, contain
some valuable suggestions for the future guidance of large military
operations by the War Office and the Admiralty respectively. d

The entire sums proposed to be granted for particu-
lar services are not always voted at the same time, but
a certain sum is occasionally voted either ' on account '
or as a vote of credit.

Votes of credit are usually asked for on behalf of votes of
contemplated war expenditure, when it is necessary to
have ample funds on hand, and impossible to determine

y See May's Prac. ed. 1883, p. 693. and ante, p. 702.

1 Case of Mr. Perceval's Family, b Hans. D. v. 196, pp. 1419-1439.

Parl. Deb. v. 23, pp. 187-202. c Com. Pap. 1868-69, v. 6, p. 1.

Hans. D. v. 148, pp. 387-392 ; Ib. 1870, v. 5, p. 1.


beforehand the exact amount required. 6 Nevertheless,
they should be strictly limited both as to their amount
and object. In two or three instances only between the
Ee volution and 1735 were unlimited votes of credit given
to the ministers of the crown for army or navy pur-
poses. Ever since, when the Commons have granted a
vote of credit, they have named a specific sum in the
Appropriation Act, and have prescribed the purpose to
which it must be applied/

Votes ' on account ' were formerly restricted to oc-
casions of unexpected emergency, arising out of minis-
terial changes, when it was desirable to place at the
disposal of government funds for the public service
without specifically appropriating the same to particular
items of expenditure. In such cases it is usual to vote
a portion only of the yearly estimates, and in the follow-
ing session to enquire into the expenditure thereof, in
order to ascertain that it was duly appropriated to
legitimate purposes. g When Parliament is about to be
dissolved, upon a ministerial crisis, it is obviously im-
proper to call upon the House of Commons to vote
either the full amount or all the details of the proposed
estimates, and so commit the country to the financial
policy of ministers whose fate is about to be determined
by a general election. The duty of finally deciding
upon these estimates should be reserved for the new
House of Commons. Meanwhile the supply of credit
should be restricted to such an amount as may be abso-
lutely required for the public service, until the re-
assembling of Parliament, and the vote ' on account '
should not be regarded as in any degree pledging the
House to an approval of the entire estimates. 11

e May's Prac. ed. 1883, p. 680. h Hans. D. v. 144, p. 2170. Ib. v.

Hans. D. v. 203, p. 1440. 158, p. 1667. This course was fol-

f Clode, Mil. Fore, of the Crown, lowed, upon pending ministerial

v.l, pp. 124-127; Com. Pap. 1868-9, changes, iu 1841, 1857, and 1850.

v. 35, p. 1171 ; and see post, p. 823. See May's Prac. cd. 1883, p. 678.

See 3 Hateell, pp. 213-215.


Within the last few years, however, the practice of Surrender

i j i i i mi f unex-

takmg votes ' on account has become general. This pe nded
is owing to the introduction of a new rule, making all balance '
grants in supply applicable only to ' payments to be
made within the financial year,' and requiring the
government to surrender into the exchequer, at the
end of the year, all unexpended balances. This change
of system was completely effected at the expiration of
the financial year terminating on March 31, 1863, when,
' for the first time in our financial history, all the services
were required to surrender the balances standing to
their credit,' an arrangement which has necessitated an
application to Parliament, before the close of the first
quarter of the new financial year, for a vote ' on account,'
to meet the ordinary charges accruing therein^ But the
balances are not surrendered until the Public Accounts
Committee have reported upon the various appropriation
accounts of the past financial year, and decided what is
the right sum to surrender. Meanwhile they are avail-
able to meet expenditure of the said year, which has
been actually incurred, but which has not yet been
brought to account. k But this practice is not altogether
free from objection. When such a vote is submitted, it
is always for one large sum ' on account of the following
civil services ; ' and although allowable, it is neither usual
nor convenient to discuss the items in detail. 1

On July 10, 1863, on a vote for 3,78H. to complete a large
amount voted ' on account ' for civil contingencies, an item of 6,000.
was objected to, and the government consented to its being omitted.
But as they could not reduce a smaller sum by a larger, the vote
for 3,78H. was withdrawn altogether. 01

The House is thereby deprived of the opportunity of

j Com. Pap. 1868-9, v. 35, p. 142. Pap. 1871, v. 11, p. 613.

J Chanc. of Exch. in Hans. D. v. > Hans. D. v. 206, p. 1368.

170, p. 209. Ib. v. 195, p. 524; v. ra Ib. v. 172, p. 544. Seealso a dis-

210, p. 607. cussion on ' Votes on Account, '2b. v.

k 5th Rep. Coin". Pub. Ace. Com. 178, pp. 733-741.


considering, adequately, the particular items of any such
vote, until, on a future occasion, definitive votes are taken
for the balances required for each particular service. And
when the completion of the vote is asked for, it has been
urged that it may be late in the session, when the attend-
ance of members is thin, and the disposition of the
House adverse to minute investigation. 11 But the govern-
ment have endeavoured to meet this objection by taking
a vote ' on account ' for two or three months only, and
by a timely introduction of votes for balances.

On March 27, 1863, the chancellor of the exchequer said, 'The
practice to vote " on account " was entirely novel, because it was
incident to a system which had been adopted for the purpose of
giving effect to an important administrative improvement. It was
necessary to prepare a list of votes on which probable advances
would be required before there was an opportunity of bringing
them definitely before the House.' That ' was a practice to which
recurrence would necessarily have to be had in future years.' p

It is an established rule that a vote ' on account '
should involve no new principle, but should merely pro-
vide for the continuation of services which had been
sanctioned in the previous year ; and it is the practice
not to take more than two or three months' supply,
except in certain particular cases of public emergency ;
so that the committee, in agreeing to votes * on account,'
are not pledged to the estimates for the year, in antici-
pation of the opportunity to be afterwards afforded of
voting them in detail. q

" See Mr. A. Smith's motion, on mittee in which votes 'on account'

June 29, 1861, deprecating this prac- of certain services were taken, defini-

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