British Budgets 1887-88 to 1912-13

By Bernard Mallet | Go to book overview

MR. ASQUITH'S BUDGETS.

FIRST BUDGET, 1906-7.

April 30, 1906.

THAT the Unionist Government should have survived over five years from the date of a general election through the concluding stages of a (financially) great war and the internal dissensions caused by the fiscal controversy was a remarkable proof of its inherent strength; but in the autumn of 1905 Mr. Balfour's position had become untenable and in December he resigned, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman succeeding him as Prime Minister; and in the January following the Liberal Ministry was confirmed in office by a sweeping victory at the polls. In the new Cabinet Mr. Asquith took the part of Chancellor of the Exchequer, and on the 30th of April he made his first budget statement, carefully explaining that his field of action on this particular occasion was to a large extent limited and circumscribed owing to his own recent accession to office.

As regards the past year the estimates both of revenue and expenditure had again been falsified to an unusual extent, but "happily in each case the error had turned out to be on the right side." The revenue (£143,978,000) had exceeded the estimate by £1,524,000, and the Exchequer issues, £140,512,000,

-254-

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