13 APRIL 1929, Page 44


Moreover, it is difficult to forget that during his five years of office the present Chancellor of the Exchequer has frequently been compelled to fly to special sources of revenue to obtain his surpluses. It is quite true that -he has had some exceptionally difficult times to contend with, such as the period of the Great Strike and the Coal Stoppage, and, his difficulties have been increased by the natural desire to refrain from imposing fresh taxation calculated to injure industry. Still, but for large drawings upon the Road Fund, the anticipation by a month or two of the special Brewers' Tax, the inclusion in one amount of the Inconie Tax under Schedule " A," and finally the windfall of the past year in the shape of the Currency Notes assets, and abnormal Estate Duties Revenue, the position at the end of several of the financial years would have been different to that actually presented. I am not asserting, however, for one moment that Mr. Churchill's career at the Exchequer has been merely notable for a snatching at windfalls or for mere profligate finance. He has failed, like previous Chancellors, to achieve those reduc- tions in Supply Expenditure which I believe could and should be achieved in the direction of the outlay on Social Services, but he has also accomplished much that has been skilful and helpful in the conduct of the National Finances. My reason for emphasizing these points connected chiefly with the Sinking Fund is that I am sure he will do well in refraining next Monday from anything in the way of a spectacular or electioneering Budget if such spectacular efforts have to be made at the cost of a strain on the national credit through the maintenance of an unduly low Sinking Fund.