England must be given the credit for having the most systematic fiscal scheme, yet many of the systems of the continental states have made an approach toward an orderly arrangement of their fiscal machinery. Space will be taken only to give the bare outlines of two of the better organized systems.

The German Fiscal Plan. - In Germany, before the war, the budget estimates originated in much the same manner as in the English system. A set of estimates was made up by local and provincial authorities and turned into the hands of the general treasury, where an attempt was made to eliminate any difficulty. It was the duty of the Imperial Chancellor to act as arbitrator if necessary. The Various estimates were of minute detail, and were first voted upon by the upper chamber of the government. Army and navy appropriations were for a period of seven years, while all established institutions were assured of continued support. The question of funds for current expenditures was, therefore, the one around which discussion centered. If the system is continued under the new governmental regime it can doubtless be made more satisfactory, since the former Emperor granted very limited powers to the fiscal authorities.

French Fiscal Plan. - Under the French system the estimates are much less accurate than those in England. Here the fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, while the estimates are made a full year in advance of the actual expenditures. With the lapse of a year between the time an estimate is made and the time it goes into effect, it is, of course, impossible to have a close estimate. The budget is prepared by the Treasury Department, but the Minister of Finance has much less power in modifying the estimates than has the English Chancellor.

After the Minister of Finance has compiled the estimates in presentable form, they go to the Chamber of Deputies. Here the budget takes the form of a bill, with schedules authorizing certain expenditures. The bill is prepared by a joint committee from the two houses, which frequently pays little attention to the estimates which have been submitted. After much time has been consumed here, the bill, with its seven or eight hundred chapters, is presented to the Chamber of Deputies, where each chapter is discussed and voted upon separately. Motions for changes may be made by any member, and because of the lack of any centralized responsibility, much extravagant expenditure results. The President cannot veto, but may suggest a reconsideration of the items.

An estimate of the revenues forms a part of the budget. The major part of these comes from indirect taxes. As might be expected, since such a long period elapses before the estimates are put into effect, it frequently becomes.

necessary to pass additional and special budget Acts. This necessity is alleviated somewhat by the practice of transferring funds from one purpose to another within the various departments, although they are not transferred between departments. These difficulties, however, show the evil consequences of having the estimates and expenditures so widely separated in point of time. The real administration of the budget and the auditing of the accounts is under the control of a committee of accounts.