§ MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount of Two-and-three-quarters Guaranteed Land Stock was issued up to 31st March, 1907, for the purposes of the Land Purchase Aid Fund, what was the average price of issue, and what was the average rate of interest so to be paid on the money thereby obtained; what was the average price paid for Consols purchased on Sinking Fund Account 405 during the years in which such issues of Guaranteed Land Stock were made, and what was the average interest yield on the investment so made; what is the annual charge for interest on sums so raised for the Land Purchase Aid Grant payable out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, and what is the annual return on a like sum so invested in Consols on Sinking Fund Account; and whether he can explain what is the advantage derived by the Exchequer from the process of borrowing money at a high rate of interest on direct Imperial security, and at the same time investing a like sum at a lower rate of interest.
(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) The amount of Guaranteed Two-and-three-quarters per cent. Stock issued between 19th March, 1904, and 31st March, 1907, for the Land Purchase Aid Fund was £1,901,444. The average price of issue was £88 18s. 3d., involving a charge of interest of £3 1s. 10d. per cent. The average price paid for Consols purchased on Sinking Fund Account during the same period was £86 12s. 4d., corresponding to a rate of interest of £2 17s. 9d. per cent. The annual charge for interest in respect of the cash raised for the Land Purchase Aid Fund is £52,291, and the interest return on a like amount of cash invested in Consols at the average price paid on Sinking Fund Account would be £48,791. The matter of policy to which allusion is made is not one which can usefully be discussed within the limits of an Answer to a Question.