HC Deb 29 June 1915 vol 72 c1627
18. Mr. COWAN

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to a suggestion that the accumulated balances, amounting to about £400,000, derived from the annual Grants to the Scottish Board of Agriculture, for the purposes of the Scottish Small Landholders Act, should be temporarily invested in the new War Loan; whether he can state where these funds are now lying and what rate of interest they are returning; and whether, in the event of that rate being materially less than 4½ per cent. per annum, he will consider the desirability of adopting the suggestion referred to?

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. McKinnon Wood)

The answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's question is in the affirmative; the balance of the Agriculture (Scotland) Fund is at present on bank deposit receipt in Scotland; to the extent of £375,000 the deposit earns interest at 2½ per cent. per annum, and to the extent of £55,000 the ordinary deposit rate of 2 per cent. In view of the fact that the fund is being constantly drawn upon in the exercise of the administrative duties of the Board it would not be suitable to invest it in a permanent security, but the question of securing a more remunerative investment in Government securities is at present under consideration.


Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that if those balances, amounting to nearly £400,000, were invested in the War Loan now before the country that they would be unrealisable?


No, Sir, I do not suggest anything of the kind.