HC Deb 12 May 1915 vol 71 cc1631-2
37. Mr. FELL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will try and arrange, on the issue of any further loan, that it shall be offered in such a way as to be available for the investment of the savings of the working classes and persons of small means; and if there is any insuperable difficulty in issuing bonds of as low a denomination of £5, payable by instalments, seeing that bonds of a still smaller value are always issued by the French Government with great success?


As the hon. Member is aware, the small investor has ample opportunity of investing in Government stocks in amounts from one shilling upwards through the Savings Banks. As I explained to the House on the 17th November last, the question of allowing would-be investors to apply for smaller amounts than £100 was carefully considered in connection with the War Loan, but it was not found possible to do so. The matter will, however, be further considered when the time comes for the issue of another War Loan.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the purchase of Consols through the Post Office Savings Banks has been a failure, and that the working classes have not the same opportunity, and have never been afforded an opportunity, for the safe investment of their savings?


The hon. Member is quite inaccurate in his assumption that investment through the savings banks is a failure. It is quite the reverse.