§ MR. J. R. YORKE
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he will take measures, at an early date, to arrange for the payment of dividends on consols and other public debt payable at the Bank of England by quarterly in lieu of half-yearly payments?
I am afraid, Sir, that there is one fundamental objection to the adoption of the suggestion of the hon. 1345 Member. If quarterly payments are to be substituted for half-yearly payments, the first quarterly payment would, of course, have to be paid in advance. It is computed at the Bank of England that an advance of at least £2,000,000 would be required, and this would become a charge against the Revenue of the year, and would never be replaced. In these circumstances, hon. Gentlemen will be able to judge for themselves whether it is likely that at any period the House of Commons or Her Majesty's Ministers having at their command £2,000,000 of disposable surplus will be inclined to apply it in that particular manner.