Since 1891 the national budgets have been calculated in both gold and currency, and both receipts and expenditures have been carried out in this dual system.
At the head of the financial organization of France, and exercising a general jurisdiction, is the minister of finance, who co-ordinates in one general budget the separate budgets prepared by his colleagues and assigns to each ministerial department the sums necessary for its expenses.
The colonial budgets totalled in 1907 some 16,760,000, being divisible into six categories: Algeria 4,120,000; Tunisia 3,640,000; Indo-China3 about 5,000,ooo; West Africa 1,600,000; Madagascar 960,000; all other colonies combined 1,440,000.
So long as the reserve was available it was drawn upon to supply the void; but when that also was exhausted recourse was had to expedients, such as the borrowing, or rather seizure, of the vakuf revenues (1622) and the sale of crown properties; then ensued a period of barefaced confiscation, until, to restore public confidence in some measure, state budgets were published at intervals, viz.
Although the publication of the budget had only taken place at very irregular intervals, it must also be observed that the published budgets were by no means accurate.