chapter  2
4 Pages


This was no transitory pressure. In June 1922 the Treasury again requested provisional estimates for the financial year 1923-24. Further reductions in expenditure were necessary because ‘the un-favourable industrial and commercial situation of the past year will be reflected in next year’s Revenue Receipts’. The provisional estimates provided by the Colonial Office were studied by a cabinet sub-committee, while once again in October 1922 the Treasury circular on estimates urged further reductions on these provisional figures.9 In October 1923, the Treasury maintained the demand for economy in the estimates for 1924-25. Remissions of taxation were going to cut revenue by £23,750,000 and income tax returns would be lower. To balance the books, ‘very substantial reductions on this year’s Estimates must therefore be made’. It was unlikely that this sustained anti-waste campaign throughout the 1920s allowed any laxity in estimating. As one member of the Colonial Office commented: ‘this Office is run on the cheap, if ever an Office was’.10 The pressures for economy inevitably affected its work.