HC Deb 14 August 1890 vol 348 cc976-7
MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the proposals with regard to the re-investment of dividends on Government Stock held by small investors, as suggested by Mr. N. L. Cohen, in a letter to the Times, under the heading of "Accumulative Consols?"


Yes, Sir; I have been in communication with the Bank of England on the subject of the proposal made by Mr. N. L. Cohen for giving small investors in Government Stocks facilities for having their dividends automatically invested. The Bank of England have gone into the matter with every wish to make the plan a success, and they have submitted to the Treasury a scheme which is simple and has every appearance of being effectual, and which will involve no legislation. A notice will be given that proprietors of all holdings in Consols not exceeding £1,000 will, on signing and sending an order to the Bank, have their dividends received for them, and employed in the purchase of Consols by the Bank, the Stock purchased being added to the amount previously held. As much publicity as possible will be given to the notice, and the Bank will supply holders with a form of order. A fee at the rate of 1d. for each pound of cash employed in the purchase of Stock will be charged and debited to the holder against his dividend account; the number of accounts under £1,000 somewhat exceeds 80,000. Under the scheme a ready means of making provision for a future day will be afforded to small holders; and the number of persons directly interested in the public funds will be increased. I have every reason to anticipate success for the scheme, and if by dint of the energy and co-operation of the Bank my anticipation is realised the public will owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Cohen, to whom the credit of the proposal is wholly due, and I propose to ask the Bank of Ireland to give small Stockholders similar facilities.

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