29 JUNE 1912, Page 19

Mr. Austen Chamberlain made no objection to the destina- tion

of the surplus, but in the course of his reply remarked that after all the surplus was appointed by law for the repay- ment of Debt, and to apply it otherwise would be much the same thing as borrowing. He asked how many other Chan- cellors, moreover, had been able to buy up so much Consols for so small an expenditure of cash. So long as people saw this Government recklessly piling up future ex- penditure, adding millions to our liabilities for future years, spending every million the Chancellor could get hold of now in these years of peace and abundant revenue, and leaving all the liabilities for the future, Cousols could not reach the figure at which he should like to see them. In the course of the evening an amendment was proposed by Mr. Cooper for reducing the duty on British-grown tea from 5d. to 4d., and the Government's majority fell to 22—the amend- ment being rejected by 199 votes to 177.