13 APRIL 1929, Page 44


Of these points of criticism, perhaps the most important is that concerned with the Sinking Fund, and for an obvious reason. When introducing his first Budget five years ago Mr. Churchill spoke hopefully as to the prospect of a successive rechiction in the annual expen- diture at the rate of £10,000,000 a year, and of that reduction he estimated that £5,000,000 should come 'under the head of the Debt charges, anticipating, pre- sumably, some helpful conversion schemes. Neverthe- less, we find that at the end of the five years not only does the debt charge remain at £855,000,000, but the portion formerly definitely earmarked for the Sinking Fund is no longer earmarked. That is to say, Mr. Churchill has now reverted to the plan of including the Sinking Fund in the general debt charge, leaving the actual amount of its application to the purpose for which it is intended to depend upon the interest charge on the debt. for the year