§ LEAVE. FIRST READING.
§ *(4.29.) THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
I beg to move for leave to introduce a Bill for making further provision respecting certain payments to the Banks of England and Ireland, and, availing myself of the privilege which is sometimes given, to make the shortest possible explanation of this Bill, I may remind the House that there are four positions in which the Bank of England stands to the Government. It is the issuing bank, giving a portion of the profits of note-issue to the Government; it is a creditor of the Government to the amount of eleven millions sterling; it manages the National Debt, and it is the banker of the Government and custodian of the public balances. The scheme which I have to propose leaves the arrangements between the State and the Bank of England as regards issue undisturbed, so that, if a future Parliament should think fit to make any changes in that respect, nothing in the present arrangements would have tied its hands. With regard to the amount of eleven millions which the Government owe to the Bank, the Bill proposes to reduce; the rate of interest from three to two and three-quarters per cent., by which an economy of £27,500 will be secured. As to the management of the Public Debt, there will be a change made in the payments, by which there will be a saving of £9,400. The charge of £3,000 for assessment of Government Stocks to the Income Tax will be no longer made by the Bank, so that on the management of the Public Debt there is a total saving of £12,400. In its capacity of custodian of public accounts the Bank will no longer make charges on the Government, which amount to £6,300; and will also make some concessions with regard to interest on deficiency advances, making a total saving of £9,300. There are some counter items, but the change will 923 effect a total saving of about £45,700. The case of the Bank of Ireland has also been taken into consideration, and in regard to that the total saving is £7,800. On the whole arrangement, the total saving to the country is £53,500. Legislation will only be necessary with reference to the management of the National Debt and the interest on the Debt, because the arrangements with regard to other matters have been made by agreement with the Treasury. Hon. Members will see the exact particulars of the proposed change when the Bill is in their hands.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That leave be given to bring in a Bill for making further provision respecting certain Payments to the Banks of England and Ireland; and for other purposes connected with those Banks."—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir John Gorst.
§ Bill presented, and read first time. [Bill 406.]