§ MR. BOWLES
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether His Majesty's Government has now come to any decision with regard to the suggestion that immediately after the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made his Budget Statement of the National Expenditure and Debt for the year, the President of the Local Government Board should make a further statement of the expenditure and debt of local authorities for the same year; and, if so, can he now state that decision to the House.
§ Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I do not see that any useful purpose would be served by adopting the hon. Member's suggestion. Local finance is not a matter for which this House, or the Government, are responsible, and a supplementary Budget statement of the† See Col. 1155.1201 kind could hardly fail to have a misleading effect on the public mind. That is my personal opinion, but I may add that the scheme is impracticable. The local financial year ends on 31st March, and it would obviously be impossible for my right hon. friend to make a statement in April of the expenditure and debt of local authorities for the preceding twelve months, seeing that it takes many months for the collection and tabulation of these figures.