§ MR. O. V. MORGAN (Battersea)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether, in consequence of the greater publicity given during the last two years to the fact that the public can purchase Government Stocks through the Post Office, there has been any increase in the amount invested since 1889; whether of late there has been any active demand for the official publication known as Aids to Thrift; whether he will direct every postmaster to hand to every depositor in the Post Office Savings Bank, each time a book is made up, a copy of the conditions on which investments in Government Stocks may be made; and whether the public can at present purchase Two and a Half per Cent. Stocks at about 5 per cent. below par, thus giving the investors 5 per cent. higher rate of interest than is obtainable on deposits at the Post Office Savings Banks?
§ THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES,) Cambridge University
I am glad to say that the investments in Government Stock through the Post Office in the year 1890 did show an increase over those made in the year 1889 by £120,000. There is no active demand for Aids to Thrift, which is now obsolete owing to the various changes in the savings bank system. The bulk of the information contained therein is included, however, in the Post Office Hand Book, which can be purchased at any post office for 1d. Information as to Stock investments is given in each deposit book, and notices on the subject are exhibited at all post offices. I shall be glad again to consider whether it is practicable to take any further steps in this direction. The Stock purchased through the Post Office Savings Bank is, of course, purchased at the current price, so that if the Stock is now 5 per cent. below par it would be purchased at 95; but the conclusion that this would give the investor 5 per cent. higher rate of interest, though I fancy I can conjecture what the hon. Member means, is, I think, stated in a form which may lead to misapprehension.