20 MAY 1905, Page 2

The most interesting speech, however, was that of Lord George

Hamilton, who, in view of the growing incapacity of the House and the Cabinet to control expenditure, and the practical deposition of the Treasury, advocated the formation of a permanent Finance Committee on the model of the Defence Committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer denied that the Committee of Defence had impaired the Cabinet's old authority in regard to military and naval finance : it merely simplified the proce- dure of the Cabinet. The increase in military expenditure was wholly due to the rapid rearming of the artillery, and was not inconsistent with the Premier's declaration as to invasion, his point being that its impossibility depended on our having the force to resist it. As for Lord George Hamilton's suggestion of a permanent Finance Committee, it would not give the Chancellor of the Exchequer greater con- trol than he now possessed, while it would still further over- work Cabinet Ministers already overwhelmed by the present pressure of business. On a division there was a majority of 56 (155 to 99) for the second reading of the Bill.