§ SIR T. ESMONDE
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if the National Debt Commissioners have been authorised by the Treasury to give Consols in exchange for Land Stock to the extent of five millions; and, if so, when the exchange will be made?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The Treasury have authorised the National Debt Commissioners to give Consols in exchange for Land Stock to the amount of five millions. The exchange will be made from time to time whenever Stock is presented. I regret to say, though nearly half a million of advances have been applied for under the Act of 1891, there is no immediate chance of Land Stock being required unless special machinery is provided for clearing away the arrears under the Ashbourne Act, which are still outstanding.
§ MR. TIMOTHY HEALY
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Land Stock is to be at the rate of 100 or 96 according to legal decision?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
IS it proposed to take any steps to bring up those arrears under the Ashbourne Act? I understand that there are cases as far back as 1887 which have not yet been settled?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As to the question asked by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. T. M. Healy) notice must be given, as I am not familiar with the legal point raised. With regard to the other question submitted by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. T. W. Russell), my right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant is engaged considering what steps can be taken to deal with this matter.
§ MR. TIMOTHY HEALY
Cannot the right hon. Gentleman say at what rate the National Debt Commissioners will treat the Stock which an Irish Judge said is only worth 96?
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The learned Judge would not say so to-day. To-day the price of Consols is 97, not 96. Whatever the price is, Stock for Stock is the basis on which exchange will take place. The arrangement is made perfectly clear by the Act.