HC Deb 19 February 1917 vol 90 cc977-8
64. Mr. LOUGH

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the total amount subscribed to the War Loan and the number of subscribers in the different classes?


The number of applications received on the last day of the Loan has been so large that although the officials have been working every day and night there are still 200,000 or 300,000 applications which have not been dealt with. More applications are coining in from all over the country, which will not reach the banks perhaps for a day or two. In these circumstances it will be impossible to give details of the figures until the beginning of next week. I am glad to say, however, that I am already in a position to state that the Loan has succeeded to a greater extent, not only than I expected, but than I hoped. I trust, however, that what I have just said will not encourage exaggerated and indeed impossible estimates, which may create the danger that, what I consider the amazing financial effort of this country, will be minimised when the actual figures are known. To keep a sense of proportion it will be well to bear in mind what was expected when the Loan was issued. I met the financial representatives, of the City and I was asked what amount of new money, including Treasury Bills— which for this purpose are new money—I should consider necessary to make the Loan a success, and in my reply I stated a figure which was much higher than my anticipations, though not higher than my hopes. That figure was £600,000,000. I am glad to be able to say to the House now that that amount, without any direct contributions from the banks, which obviously must be avoided if possible, has been already exceeded, and though it is impossible to estimate the excess by twenty millions, or perhaps even by fifty millions, I am glad to say that the excess will certainly amount to one hundred millions.