STEAUS (Mile End) Tower Hamlets,
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that only 1318 £1,876,069 14s. 7d. nominal value of 2½per cent. Consols were purchased by the Government during the last year between 14th May, 1906, and 13th May, 1907, for redemption purposes, he will consider the desirability of using a much larger proportion of the amount set aside for the induction of debt this year for purchasing Consols, owing to the present low value.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fifeshire, E.
I do not think it would be to the public interest for me to tie my hands by any declaration as to the particular securities to the cancellation of which I propose to devote the Sinking Fund during the present year, but my hon. friend may rest assured that the comparative advantages of the various securities to which the Sinking Fund can be applied (in estimating which the price at which they can be purchased is, of course, an important element) will be very carefully considered on each occasion.