§ MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Postmaster General has the power to invest the funds of the Post Office Savings Bank in local loans, securities, and debentures of high class English railways; if so, whether this power has been taken advantage of, and to what extent; and, if not, whether he will consider whether the granting such a permission would assist the Postmaster General in maintaining profitably the present rate of interest paid on the deposits, and relieve the difficulties created by the constant purchase of Consols?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
It is the duty of the National Debt Commissioners to invest this money, and the power of investment does not extend to any of the securities 1605 named in the Question, except Metropolitan stock. I think the extension of the power to such securities would be open to serious objections; and that their market price would be so much raised by it that the profit which the hon. Member anticipates would in all probability not be secured.