HC Deb 17 October 1916 vol 86 cc374-5
92. Captain DOUGLAS HALL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction amongst those who supported the Treasury by depositing securities under Scheme B for regulation of foreign exchanges owing to the deposit receipts being very unmarketable; if the reason for this is the uncertainty as to whether or not these deposit securities have been sold by the Treasury, and the absence in the scheme of any undertaking on the part of the Treasury to notify the depositors whether their stocks have been sold; and if the Treasury will cause an official announcement to be made that on application by registered post depositors will be informed whether or not their securities have been sold, or, failing this, if the Treasury will advise depositors immediately their securities have been sold?


The scheme, which has only been in operation for two months, is still open, and regard being had to the fact that a deposit scheme of this nature would not be expected to attract securities that were on the point of being realised, it could scarcely be expected that a larger market in the deposit receipts would be at once established. I am not prepared to admit that the provisions of Clause 6 will prejudicially affect the marketability of the deposit receipts, nor does there appear to be any reason for assuming that such receipts will fail to command as good or a better price than the undeposited security of a similar kind. I do not anticipate that deposited securities will in fact be sold, but if they were I fear that it would not be practicable to notify the depositors of a security that the same had been sold, as in the case of registered stocks, for instance, it would not be possible to earmark the individual holdings that had been realised.

93. Captain DOUGLAS HALL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, under Clause 6 of the Regulations published regarding securities deposited on loan with the Treasury under Scheme B, it is intended to give the Treasury absolutely unfettered discretion at the end of the loan period in regard to each depositor of an exactly similar security; whether they repay by returning him this security, or whether they repay by handing him the deposit value of his security plus an addition of 5 per cent. on that value; if so, whether he is aware that, in the event of such security having greatly depreciated in value, such an action may cause dissatisfaction among depositors of the same security, some of whom have been repaid by the return of their depreciated security, and others who have been repaid by a substantial and adequate sum of money provided for in the other method; and if he can see his way to make arrangements that in all cases where the Treasury finds it necessary to sell stock of exactly similar description such stock shall be drawn by lot by a person or persons appointed for the purpose by some body other than a Government Department?


I do not think it is necessary to make arrangements of the nature proposed. In the unlikely event of it being necessary for the Treasury to sell part of any security deposited, the cash payment under Clause 6 of Scheme B, if that method of payment were adopted, would be divided pro rata among all the depositors of such security.

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